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.
For my international mil-twitter audience:— Oliver Hegglin (@HegglinOliver) May 26, 2021
Today aF-5E Tiger II crashed while on a training flight with an F/A-18 Hornet. The pilot was able to safely eject & the crash occurred away from any people and buildings.
Cause yet unclear but an eyewitness took these photos @20min. pic.twitter.com/22aaXXkh5b
Eyewitness said the jet simply hit the snow as if it were cotton. There was no explosion & the plane appears to be intact.— Oliver Hegglin (@HegglinOliver) May 26, 2021
An aviation expert spoke of a “controlled crash” and pointed out the age of the aircraft. @Blickch
It’s a “red and white” Tiger also used for @patrsuisse pic.twitter.com/YsT7KVGtUP
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.