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Mechanic's misfire destroys $27m Belgian fighter jet

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A multi-million dollar Belgian warplane was destroyed when a mechanic accidentally fired a cannon during routine repairs.

 

The $27 million F-16 fighter jet rapidly caught fire and exploded at an air base south of Brussels, reports the UK Telegraph.

 

The mechanic was working with a colleague on two other aircraft in a nearby hangar when he accidentally fired a six-barrelled Vulcan cannon.

 

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The burnt-out Belgian Air Force F-16 after it was accidentally hit by cannon fire at Florennes Air Base in the country's south. (twitter)

 

His misfire completely destroyed the aircraft that had been refuelled ahead of a flying sortie.

 

Another F-16 jet was also damaged.

 

Both mechanics were injured during the incident last Thursday.

 

Boris Morenville, head of the Belgian defence trade union, said the plane’s destruction was accidental.

 

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Authorities said no one was injured after the Belgian warplane exploded at the air base. (twitter)

 

"We may be thinking about human fault or technical failure, but in any case we have not yet been warned of an intentional act," he said.

 

About 30 firefighters were called to the incident along with ambulances and other emergency workers.

 

The air base commander, Colonel Didier Polome, said he was relieved that only two people were injured when the plane exploded.

 

“You can’t help thinking of what a disaster this could have been," he said.

 

Belgium’s Ministry of Defence is investigating the incident.

 

It is the second time a military weapon has been accidentally fired in Europe this year.

 

In August, a Spanish Air Force warplane launched an air-to-air missile in error during a NATO patrol over Estonia.

 

 

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Well, that's the AD to beat all AD's. Usually the result of an AD is just a hole in the roof of the hut.

 

 

  • Agree 1

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Awright geeezzaa! drag plane round back ........... An' put anuvver in place

 

 

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In 1978, RAAF armourers accidentally discharged a few rounds of 30mm from a Mirage gun pack while carrying out check during arming.

 

The process was mean't to be: raise the pack, check firing voltage with both cannons unplugged with a test box.

 

They were in a hurry and tested the left gun, plugging it in prior to testing the right gun, so when the switch was depressed, to test the right gun, the left gun fired, hitting the ladder on the left side of the aircraft. (A shunt is used to bypass the weight on wheels switch for the process)

 

Fortunately RAAF arming procedures ensure that an armed aircraft is not pointing in an unsafe direction and usually have revetments to stop stray rounds.

 

 

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