LORIENT, FRANCE – A Belgian Air Force (BAF) F-16BM fighter jet crashed Thursday morning in western France, leaving one pilot caught on a high-voltage power line. The fighter jet was flying from Florennes Air Base in Belgium to Lann Bihoué Naval Air Base in France, when it crashed between the towns of Pluvigner and Landaul at about 20 miles from Lorient in France, the BAF said on Twitter on Thursday.
“The pilot and co-pilot were able to eject themselves from their seats before the crash. One is being looked after by the emergency services and the second has his parachute caught on a 250,000 Volt high-voltage electricity line,” a police spokesman in Morbihan, Brittany, told CNN.
The police later confirmed that emergency services had been able to free the F-16 pilot who was stuck on the high-voltage power cable. Both pilots suffered light injuries and no injuries were reported among residents in the area, a police spokeswoman said.
The BAF F-16BM with registration FB18 was in service since 1983. It was completely modernized to the MLU (Mid-Life-Update) standard. The ‘M’ in F-16BM stands for ‘Mid-Life-Update’.
The crashed fighter jet was meticulously maintained according to the manufacturer. The cause of the accident is now under investigation.
(Head image: Jim van de Burgt – CC0 1.0)