A two-seat JAS-39 Gripen fighter of the Hungarian military crashed at the Czech military base in Čáslav in the early afternoon on Tuesday, while both pilots ejected and the aircraft ended in a field behind the runway, news portal Praguepost.com reported. The cause of the crash has remained rather unclear but a spokeswoman for the Czech military said the pilots were unable to bring the two-seater plane to a halt on the landing strip.
The incident took place in Cáslav, 60 kilometres east of Prague, during Lion Effort, the largest ever gathering of air forces that fly the Swedish fighter jets, news website thelocal.se reported. Traffic at the military airport was suspended as well as the The Lion Effort, and investigators are examining the cause of the accident, Magdalena Dvořáková said. The two pilots were unharmed but both received medical attention. However, the crashed Gripen was badly destroyed, with the wing and tails badly damaged and the cockpit torn off.
Philip Simon, a spokesman for the Swedish Armed Forces, confirmed that the accident involved “a Hungarian plane that wasn’t part of the actual exercise but was flying alongside.” It was “too early to say” what had gone wrong, he added. “That’s for the Hungarian accident investigation commission to ascertain”, he said. Hungary has a pre-purchase deal with Sweden to lease 14 fighter jets until 2026. Sofia Karlberg, a spokeswoman for FXM, said it was too early too say if the crash would hamper the deal in any way.
via praguepost.com, thelocal.se and MTI photo: wikimedia