Belgium is a small NATO country that borders France. However, it is becoming known for its capability of losing fighter jets under circumstances that are best described as unusual. During last year, maintenance workers who were working on an F-16 ended up destroying another F-16 by triggering the Gatling gun of the jet.
A second F-16 has been lost in France with one of the pilots ending up hanging in high voltage power lines, thus causing hinderance in his rescue efforts. As per The Aviationist, the incident took place last Thursday. The F-16BM which is a two-seat version of the F-16 in Belgian service, took to skies form the Florennes Air Base for a navigation exercise that had it flying to the far side of France. The plane was flying at the height of 1,500 feet according to the statement given by the commander of the Belgian Air Force, General Frederick Vansina.
The exact location of the crash has been identified as a place that is located between the French cities of Pluvigner and Lorient. The aircraft ended up hitting the side of a house and crashing into a field, causing a small fire. There are no details available as of yet about why the aircraft ended up crashing. However, it has been reported that F-16 was unarmed during the incident.
The two pilots that were in the F-16 were able to eject successfully. One of them landed in a conventional manner. However, the other one ended up in the power lines that were carrying 250,000 volts. He was safely rescued following a rescue operation by French emergency services that lasted for about two hours. He even took a phone call from the General Vansina while he waited for someone to get him free.
The Belgian Defense Ministry has already assigned investigators who have left for France and will be looking into the incident. The Belgian fighter force is among the oldest in the NATO. The oldest F-16BM in service is only 36 years old whereas the youngest is only thirty years old.