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Mirage 2000 goes missing northeast of Taiwan

2017/11/07 21:53:07

CNA file photo

Taipei, Nov. 7 (CNA) A Mirage-2000 fighter jet went missing off northeast Taiwan on Tuesday night during a regular training exercise at sea, the Air Force confirmed Tuesday.

The military aircraft, listed under the Hsinchu-based 499th Tactical Fighter Wing, lost contact with the control tower at 6:43 p.m. during a regular training exercise, the Air Force said in a statement.

The fighter jet had one pilot, Captain Ho Tzu-yu (何子雨), the statement noted. Ho graduated from the Air Force Academy in 2013 and has 718 hours of flying experience, 491 flying the Mirage-2000, according to the Air Force.

The military dispatched a S-70C helicopter and a C-130 transport aircraft at about 7:05 p.m. to search for the missing fighter jet, it added.

The C-130 can fly long distance without refueling and can fire illuminating flares to assist the rescue mission at night time, a military source told CNA.

The aircraft arrived at the last location of the jet at 8:13 p.m. and the search was ongoing as of press time.

Meanwhile, the Coast Guard Administration, said it has sent three vessels to the coordinates where the aircraft was last seen.

The jet reportedly went missing about 90 nautical miles north-northeast of Keelung, it added.

(By Joseph Yeh)