F-16V bombing mishap: Pilot inaccuracy sparks probe

TAIPEI (TVBS News) — The Ministry of National Defense (MND) acknowledged on Tuesday (Aug.15) that an F-16V fighter pilot did not meet standards during a training exercise on Aug. 9. The Air Force will subsequently hold the pilot and his instructor accountable.

Air Force Chief of Staff Lieutenant General Tsao Chin-ping said the main issue was the inaccuracy of the pilot's operation and handling of the bombing parameters, causing the bomb to fall far from the intended target. However, he clarified that the exact landing point of the bomb could not be precisely measured.

This incident happened when an F-16V aircraft from Chiayi Air Base was performing a training session with a 2000-pound MK-84 bomb off the shores of Pingtung's Jiupeng Military Base. The bomb missed its target and nearly hit a vessel of the Coast Guard Administration, the MND said.

Speaking at a press conference, Lieutenant-General Tsao stated that the exact bomb drop point was not visible to the Coast Guard crew and was estimated to be several nautical miles away.

Besides apologizing to the Coast Guard, Tsao disclosed that they will thoroughly review the pilot's procedures. This incident will be a crucial reference for future training exercises and combat readiness.

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