Belgian F-16 crashes leaving pilot stuck on power lines

Harry Lye 19 September 2019 (Last Updated September 19th, 2019 15:07)

A Belgian Air Force F-16 has crashed in France; the pilots successfully ejected but one was left dangling after their parachute got caught in the high voltage cables.

Belgian F-16 crashes leaving pilot stuck on power lines
Belgian Air Force F-16 fighter jets. Credits: Belgian Air Force.

A Belgian Air Force F-16 has crashed in France; the pilots successfully ejected but one was left dangling after their parachute got caught in the high voltage cables.

Belgian Air Component officials said the crash occurred in the north-west of France, with reports saying it occurred between Pluvigner and Lorient.

Both pilots have been recovered and the dangling pilot was successfully retrieved from the power lines by emergency services.

The Belgian Air Force tweeted: “one of our F16 crashed near Lorient in France. The pilots left the plane using their ejector seats. (sic)”

The fighter jet crashed in an area of farmland leaving a column of smoke as the aircraft caught fire.

No civilians were harmed in the accident, although reportedly a house was damaged.

The aircraft was en-route from Belgium to a French naval base when the accident took place and it was not armed with any ordnance when it crashed.

Yesterday, Belgian F-16s intercepted a Russian SU-28 Flanker over the Baltic Sea as part of the NATO mission to police the area.

The Belgian Defence Ministry has said it is sending investigators to the crash site to find the cause of the accident.

The F-16 is a multi-role fighter than first saw active service in 1978 and has been produced ever since, seeing service with air forces across the world including those of the US, Israel and South Korea. As of 2016, 4,500 F-16 fighters had been delivered.

Belgium currently operates 45 F-16A aircraft but has ordered 34 advanced F-35 fighter jets.