Taipei — Two American F-18 fighters have made a rare landing at an Air Force base in Taiwan after one of the planes encountered mechanical problems,Taiwan’s Ministry of National Defense confirmed Wednesday.
The pilots landed their planes at Tainan Air Force Base at 1:19 p.m. on Wednesday after requesting permission to land because of a mechanical glitch in one of the two aircraft, the ministry said. Mark Zimmer, the spokesman for the American Institute in Taiwan (AIT), the U.S.’s de facto embassy in Taiwan, could not provide further details on the planes, but he confirmed that the crew members and the planes are safe and thanked Taiwan for its assistance.
The United Daily News (UDN), a Chinese-language daily, reported that the two fighter jets took off from a U.S. base in Okinawa and were conducting a routine patrol above waters north of Taiwan before one of the planes encountered a glitch. Asked to confirm this, Zimmer would only say they were “on a routine fight,” without providing more information.