Black Eagles History

Black Eagles logo

The “Black Eagles” were first formed as an official aerobatic display team of the Korean Air Force on December 12, 1994. The team began flying with six Cessna A-37B Dragonfly jet trainers from No. 238 Squadron, which was a part of the 8th Wing based on Wonju Air Base. Their first public demonstration was on September 25, 1995.

On May 8, 1998, two of the team's planes collided during a training flight. One of the aircraft crashed killing the leader of the “Black Eagles”, while the other plane landed with only minor damage. Then, on May 5, 2006, during the Seoul Air Show, another of the team's aircraft crashed killing the pilot.

At the end of 2007 season, the “Black Eagles” were temporary disbanded as ROKAF retired its A-37 aircraft from service.

In 2009, the “Black Eagles” performed their first demonstration with the new T-50 “Golden Eagle” jet trainer on October 24, during the International Aerospace and Defense Exhibition (ADEX) at Seoul Airport.

In July 2012, Black Eagles came to Europe performing at Royal International Air Tattoo in UK for the first time.

On November 15, 2012 Captain Kim, Wan – Hee died, when his T-50B jet aircraft crashed into the mountain in Hoengseong. Two of the team's planes took off together from Black Eagles' home air base Wonju. Five minutes later, Captain Kim's aircraft began falling down, smashed into the mountain, and burned in the flames.

The crash was caused by a mechanic's mistake. Three days earlier, a mechanic performed maintenance checks of the aircraft's flight control system halting a part of the system by inserting a wire. After the check, he forgot to remove this shut-off wire, thus failing to reactivate the aircraft pitch control. Couple of days later the mechanic's superior committed suicide.

On April 1st, 2013, "Black Eagles" has been promoted to the 53rd Air Demonstration Group from the 239th Aerobatic Flight Squadron.

Black Eagles Cessna A-37B Dragonfly Black Eagles T-50 Golden Eagle old livery Black Eagles T-50 Golden Eagle present livery