2 Eurofighter Typhoon Jets Collide during Drills in Germany, 1 Pilot Dies
One pilot has perished after Eurofighter Typhoon jets of the German Air Force, the Luftwaffe, collided during a training mission in the northeastern state of Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania.
The German military aircraft collision occurred shortly before 2 pm local time (12:00 UTC) near Lake Müritz, about 120 kilometers (75 miles) north of Germany’s capital Berlin.
Both pilots of the crashed jets managed to eject but only one of them was discovered alive, hanging in a tree canopy; the other pilot was pronounced dead after the police found human remains in the area, DW reported.
The two pilots in question were in a trio of Eurofighter Typhoon jets flying a mission out of Laage, near the city of Rostock, on Monday.
They were part the main training center for pilots of Eurofighter Typhoon jets in Germany, the Tactical Air Force Wing 73, known as “Steinhoff,” a fighter wing that specializes in general air defense.
“Today is a day of mourning and anguish over the loss of our soldier. We share in the grief of the relatives,” German Defense Minister Ursula von der Leyen told journalists after visiting the crash site with state Interior Minister Lorenz Caffier.
She promised an investigation into the incident. The Luftwaffe said the two Eurofighter Typhoon aircraft were not carrying ammunition.
Witnesses shared online video footage of smoke rising from two sites about 10 kilometers apart. There were reports that the crashed jets had caused fires but that the flames had been extinguished. Part of the wreckage fell on the area of Malchow where the police warned the locals not to approach.
In recent years, there have been reports about the inadequate combat readiness and technical problems of the German Air Force. A Spiegel report in 2018 said that only 10 of Germany’s fleet of 128 Eurofighter Typhoon fighter jets were combat ready.
France and Germany were recently joined by Spain in their project to develop a new, sixth-generation fighter jet to replace their Eurofighter Typhoon fleets.
(Banner image: Video grab from DW)