Two Belgian fighter pilots were forced to eject from their aircraft on Thursday, and while both are in “good health” now, one was left dangling from a power line for two hours after his parachute got tangled up in the cords.
The F-16 fighter plane crashed in western France near Lorient, the Belgian Air Force announced on Twitter on Thursday, saying that both the pilot and copilot ejected before the crash.
But one of the pilots ended up dangling from a power line when his parachute became tangled.
Emergency responders cut the electric current to avoid electrocutions before rescuing the pilot. The rescue took two hours, the BBC said.
Meanwhile, one of the plane’s wings ended up clipping the roof of Pluvigner resident Patrick Kauffer’s house, and a fire broke out at the site of the crash, according to French outlet La Télégramme.
NEWS @BeAirForce— Belgian Air Force🇧🇪 (@BeAirForce) September 19, 2019
- un de nos F16 s'est écrasé près de Lorient en France. Les pilotes ont quitté l'avion avec leurs sieges éjectables.
“The wing of the plane tore off some of the roof on the north side of our house. The damage is impressive: the trees and the shed were on fire when my wife was evacuated,” Kauffer told the outlet.
Kauffer’s wife, Beatrice Kauffer, recounted the experience to La Télégramme, telling the outlet that she didn’t know what was going on until she went outside and bystanders told her that a plane had crashed into her house.
“I heard a first big boom,” she said, saying that before she heard “another boom,” she didn’t think that whatever it was had touched the house. Beatrice explained that she saw flames outside her kitchen window, and that was when she realized that the house had bit hit by the plane.
The unarmed plane crashed only 19 miles from its intended destination, a French airbase in Lorient, the BBC reported, and was on a practice flight from Florennes, which is south of Brussels.
The Air Force is currently investigating the cause of the crash, and said that the F-16 was commissioned in 1983, but had been “completely modernized to MLU standards” and “was meticulously maintained.”