A Belgian Air Force F-16 Fighting Falcon (Viper) crashed in western France on Thursday but there were no reports of any casualty. The two pilots of the F-16 managed to eject but one of them was left hanging several metres from the ground after his parachute got entangled in a high-tension wire. The other pilot landed safely.
The twin-seater F-16 also damaged a house near Pluvigner in western France and then caught fire. The combat aircraft had taken off from Belgium's Florennes Air Base and was going to Lann-Bihoue naval airbase in France when the tragedy took place.
CRASH D'UN F16 DANS LE MORBIHAN - L'un des pilotes est coincé sur une ligne électrique à haute tension, les secouristes sont sur place pic.twitter.com/DqpcKbEksI
— ALERTES INFO (@ALERTES_INFO) September 19, 2019
Officials said the F-16 was not armed and there was no danger to the local population as all those near the crash site had been evacuated. French Navy sent a Grumman E2-C Hawkeye aircraft and an NH-90 helicopter were to help in the rescue and relief operation.
CRASH : Un avion militaire belge F-16 s'est écrasé à Pluvigner, dans le #Morbihan. Les deux pilotes indemnes ont pu s’éjecter, l'un est actuellement suspendu sur une ligne à haute tension (Le Télégramme). pic.twitter.com/HzKyMgLhEM
— Infos Françaises (@InfosFrancaises) September 19, 2019
French news website Le Telegramme reported that fire was reported from the crash site and a house that the plane had hit while coming down. The house suffered minor damage and the fire was doused by the emergency service.
France's Lann Bihoue naval airbase has the Dassault Rafale M jets. While two squadrons of Rafale M aircraft are tasked with undertaking naval and land combat along with reconnaissance and nuclear deterrence missions, one squadron is based for interception and air superiority missions. The base also has one airborne radar squadron of Grumman E-2C Hawkeye aircraft.