July 13, 2005

Two South Korean military jets crash into the sea

SEOUL (Reuters) - Two South Korean fighter jets crashed
into the sea in separate incidents eight minutes apart, killing
one of the pilots and leaving three crew members missing, an
air force spokesman said on Thursday.

Both planes crashed on training missions Wednesday night.

In the first case, an F-4E fighter with two aboard went
down in waters south of the Korean peninsula and shortly after
an F-5F fighter with two aboard crashed west of the peninsula,
the spokesman told a news conference.

South Korean and U.S. forces stationed in South Korea were
searching for the missing airmen, he said.

The spokesman said he could not comment on why the jets
crashed until investigations were complete. The pilots of the
two planes were using night vision goggles, he added.

"We are troubled because these incidents happened nearly
simultaneously," he said.

The F-4E is built by McDonnell Douglas, now owned by Boeing
Co., and the F-5F by Northrop Grumman Corp., according to the
Republic of Korea Air Force Web site.