The Republic of Korea Air Force (ROKAF) grounded its KF-16 Fighting Falcon fleet after a pilot of one the fighter jets was forced to eject from the aircraft during takeoff in Seosan on June 8.
According to a Yonhap report, the pilot noticed flames and smoke coming from the engine and decided to eject from the aircraft.
The accident forced the air force to ground the fighter jet fleet for detailed inspections.
The pilot sustained no injuries in the ejection but the aircraft was damaged.
Several members of the 20th Fighter Wing, to which the fighter jet belonged, are being investigated over alleged attempts to cover up the case, the Yonhap report further said.
The ROKAF currently flies some 170 KF-16C/D Block 50/52 fighters and is upgrading some of them to the F-16V configuration under a 2018 contract with Lockheed Martin. The configuration incorporates an active electronically scanned array (AESA) radar, a modern commercial off-the-shelf (COTS)-based avionics subsystem, a large-format, high-resolution display; and a high-volume, high-speed data bus, among other upgrades.