NATIONAL

South Korean aircraft catches fire after skidding off runway at Singapore air show

By Yeo Jun-suk
  • Published : Feb 6, 2018 - 19:33
  • Updated : Feb 6, 2018 - 19:33
A South Korean aerobatic aircraft participating in the 2018 Singapore Airshow caught fire after skidding off a runway Tuesday, leaving the aircraft’s pilot with a minor injury and causing the Air Force to halt its scheduled flying performance.

According to the Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore, an aircraft from South Korea‘s Black Eagles aerobatic team skidded off the runway and crashed into the grass verge at the side of Changi Airport‘s Runway 1 and caught fire, Channel News Asia reported.

The Black Eagles uses the KAI T-50 Golden Eagle plane, a supersonic advanced trainer and light combat aircraft developed by Korea Aerospace Industries with US firm Lockheed Martin.

Photo shows the Black Eagles plane from flight display team of South Korean Air Force burned after catching fire at Changi Airport in Singapore, on Tuesday. (Yonhap)


The pilot sustained light injuries and is being treated, the CAAS said. The South Korean Air Force told reporters the pilot was “safe.”

The incident took place as the aircraft was taking off for a flying display program at the air show. Video footage capturing the incident showed the aircraft flipping over on the grass near the runway.

The South Korean Air Force formed an inspection team to look into the cause of the incident. An inspection team will be sent to Singapore on Tuesday via two C-130 aircraft Hercules. Air Force Vice Chief of Staff Gen. Lee Sung-yong leads the investigating efforts.

The inspection team is expected to take apart the damaged aircraft and send it back to South Korea for further investigation, the Air Force said.

Having departed from an air base in Wonju, Gangwon Province, eight jet fighters from the Black Eagle team arrived at Singapore after making stopovers at international airports in Kaoshiung in Taiwan, Clark in the Philippines and Labuan in Malaysia.

The Black Eagles team was expected to perform acrobatic flight maneuvers, including a change turn, where an aircraft makes a 360-degree turn in the air, and a scissor pass, where two aircrafts fly from opposite sides to a point of nearly touching as they pass one another.

It was the third time for the Black Eagles team to take part in Singapore’s air show, following events in 2014 and 2016. The largest aviation event in Asia, 2018 Singapore Airshow is taking place from Tuesday to Sunday.

By Yeo jun-suk (jasonyeo@heraldcorp.com)