After many weeks of constant intrusions into Taiwan’s air defense identification zone (ADIZ) by People’s Liberation Army Air Force (PLAAF) warplanes, Chinese state-run media announced that one of the nation’s fighter jets was taken down by a bird.
The Chinese fighter jet suffered a bird strike in-flight during combat training. The bird strike resulted to engine shut down, causing the jet to crash.
A Chinese local media reported, that the pilot ejected himself safely.
The incident allegedly occurred on October 5, 2020. However, neither the exact type of fighter jet involved in the incident, nor an exact location were made public.
According to local Chinese media, the fighter jet was supposedly carrying out combat training when shortly after take-off the jet ingested a bird. The strike led to a sudden engine in-flight shutdown and the jet started to lose thrust.
Despite multiple attempts to retrieve the lost thrust, the fighter jet systems remained unresponsive, the pilot allegedly told the Guancha. The pilot successfully ejected himself before the crash.
After five seconds, emergency backup power kicked in and the cockpit display screen was restored. Wang then tried to push the throttle forward to increase thrust, but there was no response, as the engine had come to a complete stop.
As he was only 272.7 meters above the ground, Wang realized there was no time to return to the base to land and that his jet would soon crash. According to the Chinese state-run mouthpiece, Wang steered the plane away from populated areas “three times” within 37 seconds and aimed it at a rice paddy before ejecting a mere 75.9 meters above the ground and safely landing in a nearby orchard.
The pilot Wang Jiandong, of the fighter jet is a member of the PLA’s Southern Theater Command.
After an investigation by the PLA, it was confirmed that the accident was caused by a bird’s impact on the engine of the fighter aircraft during takeoff, causing it to stall; however, the report did not mention the time and location of the incident. The report did state that the pilot is a member of the PLA’s Southern Theater Command, which is where some of the warplanes that have been harassing Taiwan’s ADIZ are based and which would be part of the staging grounds in the event of an invasion of Taiwan.
It is not certain what type of plane was involved in the incident, nor was a location or date given other than “early autumn.” The only hint at the type of aircraft that might have been involved was that the stock image used in the article included a Chengdu J-10 taxiing on a runway.