(LEAD) All Air Force flights suspended after KF-16 jet pilot ejects during takeoff run
(ATTN: ADDS more details in paras 1-2, 5)
SEOUL, June 8 (Yonhap) -- An Air Force pilot on Tuesday made an emergency exit from his KF-16 fighter jet during a takeoff run after detecting flames and smoke from the engine, forcing the Air Force to suspend all flights for aircraft inspection, officials said.
The fighter jet was moving on the runway to take off from the 20th Fighter Wing in the western city of Seosan at around 2:31 p.m. when the pilot spotted flames and smoke from the engine and ejected, according to the military.
He sustained no injuries, but the aircraft was damaged and is currently on the strip, it added.
"The Air Force immediately halted the operations of all types of military aircraft, and formed an investigation team to learn the exact cause of the accident," an official said.
The investigation team is led by acting Air Force Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Jeong Sang-hwa as the former chief, Gen. Lee Seong-yong, stepped down over the suicide of a sexually abused female noncommissioned officer at the same 20th Fighter Wing.
Several members of the unit, as well as its police squadron, are now under probe by the military prosecution over alleged attempts to cover up the case and other suspicions.
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