A South Korean Air Force F-15K fighter (file photo of type,
below) went down in the East Sea during a routine training mission
Wednesday night. Both crew members on board the aircraft were
South Korea's Arirang News reports authorities are now trying to
figure out if a mechanical problem led to the accident. The plane
went down off the coast of Pohang about 8:20 pm local time, about
30 minutes after taking off from an airbase in Daegu City.
As for the cause -- this early in the investigation, military
officials aren't ruling anything out. The aircraft was one of only
four K-model F-15s in the South Korean inventory. It had just been
delivered to the Seoul government by Boeing last October, one of 40
such aircraft recently purchased by South Korea at an overall cost
of about $4 billion.
Early Thursday, South Korean naval vessels and helicopters were
scouring the crash site, marked by an oil slick on the water,
picking up debris and hoping to find something that might
contribute to the investigation.