A Northrop F-5FM fighter of the Brazilian Air Force (BAF) crashed  soon after take off from Santa Cruz Air Base (SNZ) on May 24, 2018. The two pilots managed to eject safely, while the plane landed in an inhabited area.

According to initial reports, the two pilots detected a faulty behavior in their fighter and decided to eject. Both were picked up and taken to the nearest hospital for medical care. The BAF opened an investigation to identify the causes of the incident.



The Northrop F-5 is a fighter plane developed and produced in the United States in the 1960s as a light fighter and ground support aircraft. A first batch was acquired by the BAF in 1974. The second order, that included the crashed fighter, was placed in 1988. The plane formerly belonged to the 65th Aggressor Squadron of the U.S. Air Force.

The F5-FM is a twin-seat version mainly used for flight instruction. It was modernized in 2001 with an updated radar and avionics, for a total of $230 million. The BAF currently has 43 F-5EM and 2 F-5FM operating in its fleet. They should progressively be replaced by 36 SAAB Gripens by 2030.