Swiss Air Force announced that the pilot ejected and was unhurt after its F-5 Tiger fighter jet crashed in the Alps during training.

The jet was reportedly performing air-to-air combat training in the role of an aggressor for the Air Force’s F/A-18. As the paint scheme shows, the aircraft belonged to the Patrouille Suisse aerobatics team.

The crash occurred in the morning of May 26, 2021, in a mountainous area of the canton of Obwalden, near the village Melchsee-Frutt.

The cause of the crash is yet unclear and, according to the Swiss military, an investigation has been launched. 

Eyewitness’ photos show the jet engulfed in flames in the air and the pilot ejecting. The aircraft fell into the snow and remained relatively undamaged after the crash.

The Northrop F-5E Tiger II was introduced into the Swiss Air Force in 1979. The service still maintains around 20 jets of this type and has mostly relegated them to demonstration and training purposes. 

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On September 27, 2020, Switzerland held a referendum on whether it should acquire or not new fighter jets. 50.1% of voters have voted “yes” to the procurement of new aircraft for the Swiss Air Force.