An F-16 fighter pilot got stuck on high-voltage power lines after he had to abandon his plane over north-western France. According to the Belgian air force, the two pilots on-board both received injuries after they ejected from the aircraft around the town of Lorient in Brittany. French media reported that the plane – which was supposedly still in decent condition – fell to the ground more to the east by the city of Pluvigner.
The pilot was caught on a high-voltage (250,000 volts) electric line and was rescued after roughly two hours thanks to French emergency services.
Commander of the Belgian air force, Frederik Vansina, says that the pilot was travelling at a height of 500 meters (1,500 feet). The plane was reportedly on a practice run between the Florennes air base in the Belgian province of Namur, and a French air base in Lann-Bihoué, approximately 30km (18.6 miles) from where the plane went down.
Photos capturing the incident seem to show a parachute hanging from a high-voltage electric line by a big pylon. Other images also caught black smoke rising from a nearby location, as well as a roof of a local home that sustained damaged, apparently just 50 meters (164 feet) from the crash.
The person residing in the house, Patrick Kauffer, spoke to French news agency Le Telegramme, saying that one of the wings from the plane had collided with a section of the roof of his home, which caused significant damage.
The crash also resulted in Kauffer’s shed and surrounding trees catching alight. One of the photos revealed a piece of metal which looked like it was on fire inside a woody area, with another image showing a maize field that also caught alight.
Officials confirmed that the plane didn’t contain any weapons whilst on its practice flight.