WHAT’S BEING CLAIMED:
- Two pilots were on a training flight from Belgium when their unarmed fighter jet crashed in France.
- One pilot landed on a power line, where he was left dangling for hours before rescuers managed to cut him loose.
- The plane clipped a house and caused a fire in the field it crashed on — fortunately, there were no injuries on the ground.
A fighter jet crash prompted this Belgian F-16 pilot to eject, but he landed on a power line in western France, where he was left dangling for hours.
The BBC reported that the pilot and his fellow aviator were on a training flight from Florennes in the Belgian province of Namur to the French base of Lann-Bihoué near Lorient.
The Belgian Defense Ministry stated that the unarmed jet’s crew reported an “engine technical incident” moments before they ejected.
The jet crashed in the town of Pluvigner. Its wing clipped the roof of a house, creating a hole in it. It then crashed into a farm field, which caught on fire.
There were no injuries on the ground, but one of the pilots was left dangling by his parachute from a 250,000-volt power line.
Belgian air force chief Frederik Vansina told the BBC, “They had to cut the electric current, but I’ve been on the phone to him and he says he feels fine.”
It took about two hours before rescuers managed to cut him loose.
According to Vansina, both pilots were checked at a hospital and are expected to be released soon.
Local official Pierre Clavreuil told reporters in Pluvigner, “It was a sensitive and long operation.” The Morbihan fire brigade’s Cyrille Berrod added, “It needed a lot of sangfroid.”
The house’s resident, Ludovic Kauffer, was at work at the time of the morning crash. Though his parents were home, they miraculously avoided injury.
Kauffer told The Associated Press, “My mother is in shock, my father is too. The most important thing is that everyone is OK.”
Agence France-Presse reported that the crash prompted the evacuation of eight homes with a total of 15 residents.
According to authorities, the plane entered service in 1983 and was on a navigation training mission when it crashed.
The cause of the accident is currently being investigated. Belgian air safety investigators also headed to France to join the investigation.
Source: New York Post