Belgian F-16 crashes in France, leaving pilot stranded from power line

A Belgian air force F-16 fighter jet crashed on Thursday, September 19 in the Morbihan region of western France, with both pilots successfully ejecting but one left hanging by a parachute from an electricity line, the local prefecture said.

“The pilot and the co-pilot were able to eject before the crash,” it said in a statement.

The stranded pilot was later rescued after emergency workers cut off power to the area, the Associated Press reported.

Both pilots were slightly injured, the Belgian Air Component tweeted, but commander Major General Frederik Vansina said in a press conference the two were in “good health.”

The plane had taken off from Belgium and was heading to a French naval airbase close to the town of Lorient.

The pilots were testing the plane’s navigation instruments, Vansina said. There were no weapons on board, the BBC reported.

The F-16 FB18 had been in service since 1983, the air force said.

Local security forces evacuated eight homes housing a total of 15 residents.

Pluvigner resident Patrick Kauffer told the local Le Telegramme daily that the “wing of the plane took out part of the roof of our house. The damage was serious.”

He said the crash set ablaze his shed and some trees.

With reporting from AFP


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