Air Force F-16 forced to dump fuel tanks while flying over South Korea

An F-16 Fighting Falcon takes off for a sortie during Max Thunder at Gwangju Air Base, Republic of Korea, on April 22, 2014. The two-week exercise is the air component-led portion of Exercise Foal Eagle.


By STARS AND STRIPES Published: May 21, 2014

SEOUL — A U.S. fighter jet dropped two fuel tanks over Gimje City on Wednesday during an in-flight emergency, according to the 8th Fighter Wing.

The Kunsan Air Base F-16C Fighting Falcon was conducting a training mission when the incident took place around 11:35 a.m. The fuel tanks were dropped about 7 miles southeast of the base and landed in a rice paddy about 200 meters from an elementary school.

Emergency crews responded to the scene, and no injuries were reported.

Wing commander Col. Kenneth Ekman went to the site and apologized for the incident.

The pilot followed proper procedures during the incident, although having the fuel tanks land in a rice paddy was a coincidence, wing spokeswoman 1st Lt. Son Lee said.

“We got really lucky, and we’re really happy that no one was hurt and the pilot is OK,” she said.

The incident is under investigation.



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