Power outage in France after Rafale fighter jet cuts electric cable

A Periam Photography / Shutterstock

A Rafale fighter jet hit a power line near Castellet, southeastern France, depriving locals of electricity for hours on February 17, 2021. 

A patrol of two Dassault Rafale fighter jets belonging to the 4th Fighter Squadron of the French Air Force took off from Saint-Dizier Air Base for a low-altitude flight training. As they flew by the village of Castellet, east of the French Riviera, one of the aircraft cut three medium voltage lines. 

The cables started a fire which was quickly extinguished by local firemen. However, the incident resulted in a power outage that lasted for about four hours. The aircraft involved in the collision carried out an emergency landing at the nearby Orange-Caritat Air Base. No injury or other damage than the cables were reported. An investigation was opened by the French Air Force to determine the causes of the incident, which it deemed “very rare.”

On January 9, 2019, two Mirage 2000D fighter jets of the Fighter Squadron 1/3 Navarre took off from Nancy-Ochey 133 Air Base, in the east of France, for a low altitude flight training mission over the Jura Mountains. 10 minutes into their training, one of the fighters hit the ground near the village of Mignovillard. The pilot attempted to eject, but too late. Both he and the navigator were killed on impact. The investigation concluded the crash was due to the spatial disorientation of the crew.


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