Swiss fighter jet crashes into Bitgum pond (Photo: @Jesperr123/Twitter) - Credit: Swiss fighter jet crashes into Bitgum pond (Photo: @Jesperr123/Twitter)
Friday, June 10, 2016 - 07:35
Dutch authorities investigating Swiss fighter jet crash
The Aviation Police and the Koninklijke Marechaussee launched an investigation into the crash of a Swiss F-5 jet in the Frisian village of Bitgum on Thursday afternoon. The plane came down after colliding with another jet midair. The pilot managed to get to safety with his ejection seat, but injured both ankles. The second plane made a successful emergency landing, AD reports. The collision happened between two plains of the Swiss Air Force's stunt team, Swiss Air Force Commander Aldo Schellenberg said at a press conference on Thursday. He did not say whether a technical defect or a steering mistake caused the crash. According to the Swiss team, this is the first accident they've had in 51 years. Witnesses told AD that the two planes collided while the team was trying to draw a bigh heart in the sky with white smoke. The plane crashed into a pond near a house in Bitgum, about 10 kilometers away from Leeuwarden. The pilot and his ejection seat landed in a local resident's greenhouse. He was taken to the hospital with a broken ankle and lacerations. A spokesperson for the Menameradiel municipality told AD that he is doing well under the circumstances. A video showing the ejection seat in the greenhouse is being shared on social media and WhatsApp. It shows that the seat went right through the greenhouse roof and landed between some vegetable plants. The other plane was slightly damaged, but stayed in the air. The pilot made a successful emergency landing about 20 minutes after the collision.