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Bird strike confirmed in connection with F-35A fighter's belly landing: Air Force

Diplomacy 17:00 January 14, 2022

SEOUL, Jan. 14 (Yonhap) -- South Korea's F-35A fighter jet made an emergency belly landing following a bird strike on its left engine intake earlier this month, the country's Air Force announced Friday, adding there will be a follow-up investigation on the exact cause of the incident.

It made public the results of a preliminary joint probe by South Korea and the United States into what led to the Jan. 4 case, which occurred on a runway at an air base in Seosan, 151 kilometers south of Seoul, with its pilot unharmed.

The Air Force added a team of U.S. experts will visit South Korea for an additional probe into technical details, including exactly why the aviation electronics system and landing gear of the aircraft did not work at that time.

It asked local media to refrain from "speculation-driven" reports on the reason for the belly landing apparently in consideration of the sensitivity of the issue, as some other countries are operating the advanced stealth jet model.

South Korea has so far received more than 30 F-35A jets from the ally under a plan to deploy a total of 40 units.

An F-35A stealth fighter conducts a flying display during the opening ceremony of the Seoul International Aerospace & Defense Exhibition (ADEX) at Seoul Air Base, east of Seoul, in this file photo dated Oct. 15, 2019. (Yonhap)

lcd@yna.co.kr
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