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Singapore suspends F-16 training after crash during takeoff at Tengah Air Base

A Republic of Singapore Air Force (RSAF) F-16 encountered an issue during takeoff at Tengah Air Base on May 8, 2024, at 12:35 local time. 

The pilot successfully ejected from the aircraft, which subsequently crashed within the base premises.  

Initial medical examinations indicate no significant injuries, and no other personnel were harmed in the incident.  

Identified as an experienced pilot with over 2,000 flying hours on the F-16, he reported encountering flight control issues shortly after liftoff during a routine training flight.  

RSAF F-16 training operations have been temporarily halted as a precautionary measure to allow for an investigation into the cause of the incident.  

“The last time we had a fighter jet crash incident was 20 years ago,” Singapore Minister for Defense Ng Eng Hen said in a statement. “It’s a credible record but obviously [we are] disappointed over this incident – the goal for the RSAF must still be zero crashes. Full investigations are underway to make sure all factors are identified and rectified decisively.” 

Tengah Air Base is on the western side of the island country and serves as the home base for two squadrons: the 140 Squadron and the 143 Squadron. Both squadrons are equipped with 12 F-16C/D aircraft.  

The Black Knights, the official aerobatic team of the RSAF, also operates from Tengah Air Base. The Black Knights use F-16Cs for their aerial demonstrations. 

The Singapore authorities are taking steps to strengthen the future RSAF fighter fleet as they prepare to retire the F-16s by the mid-2030s. Currently, the RSAF has a fleet of 60 F-16C/D/D+s and 40 F-15SGs in operation.  

In February 2024, it announced an order for eight F-35A fighter jets in addition to the previously announced order of 12 F-35Bs.  

The post Singapore suspends F-16 training after crash during takeoff at Tengah Air Base appeared first on AeroTime.

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