The Ministry of National Defense yesterday denied a news report that a Taiwanese interceptor had flown dangerously close to a Chinese military plane during a recent monitoring mission.
A report in the China Times yesterday said that the P-3C maritime surveillance aircraft came within 300m of a Chinese military plane that had entered Taiwan’s air defense identification zone (ADIZ).
Citing unnamed sources, the report said that the P-3C was taking photographs of the Chinese plane, but did not say when the event occurred.
Photo provided by the Ministry of National Defense
Sources cited in the report said that the pilot of the P-3C has a history of poor judgement and work relations, as evidenced by his harsh words toward his subordinates during a search and rescue mission on Nov. 21, and his demand that they fly much lower than the minimum safe altitude.
The ministry said that the report was inaccurate, as all the aerial maneuvers carried out by the pilot were in accordance with the military’s rules and regulations.
“Faced with a tough external situation, the best way we can build our combat capabilities is to conduct strict flight training in compliance with safety regulations,” the ministry said.
Retired air force lieutenant general Chang Yen-ting (張延廷) said that a distance of 167m between military aircraft is considered acceptable in terms of aviation safety.
However, for a slower aircraft like the P-3C, there is risk of a mid-air collision, because it is not as agile as a fighter jet and has a wider wing span, Chang said.
Furthermore, given the typically ineffective communication between Taiwanese and Chinese military aircraft, flying too close could lead to a misunderstanding and trigger unnecessary conflict, he said.
If Taiwan’s military aircraft wish to take photos of other planes, they do not have to fly that close, as their cameras have high-quality zoom lenses that can do the job well from a safe distance, Chang said.
Over the past few months, China’s People’s Liberation Army (PLA) has increased the frequency of its military maneuvers near Taiwan’s airspace, at times entering Taiwan’s southwest ADIZ, which has prompted the air force to scramble planes to intercept the intruders.
Last month alone, Taiwan reported about 40 PLA incursions in its ADIZ.
TOO CLOSE FOR COMFORT: A US Air Force KC-135 tanker came less than 1,000 feet of an EVA plane and was warned off by a Taipei air traffic controller, a report said A US aerial refueling aircraft came very close to an EVA Airways jet in the airspace over southern Taiwan, a military aviation news Web site said. A report published by Alert 5 on Tuesday said that automatic dependent surveillance–broadcast (ADS-B) data captured by planfinder.net on Wednesday last week showed a US Air Force KC-135 tanker “coming less than 1,000 feet [305m] vertically with EVA Air flight BR225 as both aircraft crossed path south of Taiwan” that morning. The report included an audio recording of a female controller from the Taipei air traffic control center telling the unidentified aircraft that it was
A series of discussions on the legacy of martial law and authoritarianism are to be held at the Taipei International Book Exhibition this month, featuring findings and analysis by the Transitional Justice Commission. The commission and publisher Book Republic organized the series, entitled “Escaping the Nation’s Labyrinth of Memory: What Authoritarian Symbols and Records Can Tell Us,” to help people navigate narratives through textual analysis and comparisons with other nations. The four-day series is to begin on Thursday next week with a discussion between commission Chairwoman Yang Tsui (楊翠), Polish-language translator Lin Wei-yun (林蔚昀), and Polish author and artist Pawel Gorecki comparing
MOVING OUT: A former professor said that rent and early education costs in Taipei are the nation’s highest, which makes it difficult for young people to start families The population of Taipei last year fell to the lowest in 23 years due to high rent, more transportation options and the expansion of northern cities into a single metropolis, academics and city officials said on Monday. Data released this month by the Ministry of the Interior showed that the capital was home to 2,602,418 people last year, down 42,623 from 2019. The decline is second only to 1993, when the population fell by 42,828 people, while Taipei’s population was the lowest it has been since 1997. Taipei saw the biggest drop among the six special municipalities, while Taoyuan led the group in
A US aircraft carrier group led by the USS Theodore Roosevelt has entered the South China Sea to promote “freedom of the seas,” the US military said yesterday, as tensions between China and Taiwan raise concerns in Washington. US Indo-Pacific Command said in a statement that the strike group entered the South China Sea on Saturday, the same day Taiwan reported a large incursion of Chinese bombers and fighter jets into its air defense identification zone near the Pratas Islands (Dongsha Islands, 東沙群島). The US military said the carrier strike group was in the South China Sea, a large part of which