An Air Force F-16 jet fighter encountered abnormal vibrations in one of its wheels as it was returning to the Chiayi airport Wednesday morning, forcing the joint civil/military facility to close for about three hours.
The abnormal vibration occurred at 10:49 a.m. in the twin-seat fighter, which was landing at its base in Chiayi after a routine training mission, Air Force officials said.
Despite the abnormality, the pilots were able to land the plane without any injuries.
The fighter sustained minor damage and an initial examination found that a wheel on the left side had become loose, which could have been the cause of the vibrations, the Air Force said.
Due to the incident, the Chaiyi airport was closed for about three hours, and did not re-open until around 2 p.m., the Air Force said.
A UNI Air passenger plane that was scheduled to land in Chiayi had to change its route and land in Kaohsiung instead because of the closure of the airport. UNI Air is one of Taiwan's main domestic carriers.
The Air Force apologized for the disruption.
The U.S.-made F-16 is one of Taiwan's main combat aircraft, along with the locally developed IDF and the French-made Mirage 2000-5.
Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel