Swiss fighter jet crashes after mid-air collision in Netherlands
A Swiss fighter jet crashed Thursday afternoon in the small Frisian village of Bitgum after a mid-air collision with another aircraft. The fighter jet, a Northrop Grumman F-5, went down less than ten kilometers west of the Dutch airbase in Leeuwarden.
The pilot ejected from the F-5, reported local newspaper Leeuwarder Courant. The pilot’s condition is not known. The Swiss military uses both one-seat and two-seat versions of the aircraft.
Despite being damaged, the second aircraft involved in the incident is believed to have landed at the Leeuwarden base.
The crash was first reported to emergency services just after 4:15 p.m. First responders were initially dispatched to the airbase, and soon after calls came in reporting a crash and sounds similar to an explosion at a pond off De Bodde in Bitgum. A Grip 2 emergency was declared, increasing the presence of firefighters and police, while also triggering a prepared plan to coordinate regional services responding to the incident.