Signals from Taiwan’s missing F-16’s flight data recorder detected: Defense minister

Minister pointed out that initial judgment did not rule out spatial disorientation as cause of incident

Taiwan News
Date: 2020/11/19
By: George Liao, Taiwan News, Staff Writer

The salvage vessel (CNA photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Taiwan’s military has picked up eight signals, possibly from the missing F-16 fighter jet that disappeared on Tuesday evening (Nov. 17) two minutes after it took off.

Search efforts will zero in on the source of the earliest signals emitting from 16.7 kilometers offshore, Minister of National Defense Yen De-fa (嚴德發) said on Thursday.

Colonel Chiang Cheng-chih’s (蔣正志) F-16 jet took off from Hualien at 6:05 p.m. on Tuesday for night training, but it disappeared from the radar screen at 6:07 p.m. The Air Force said a naval patrol ship picked up suspicious beacon signals at 9:03 a.m. on Wednesday, which have been used as an important lead in the continued search for the aircraft, according to CNA.

Giving a briefing on the search efforts at the country’s legislature on Thursday, Yan pointed out that based on weather, crew communication, and the aircraft's maintenance and condition, the initial judgments did not rule out the possibility of spatial disorientation as a cause of the incident. Spatial disorientation refers to a pilot’s inability to correctly interpret aircraft altitude or airspeed in relation to the Earth or other points of reference.    [FULL  STORY]

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