The Swiss Air Force has launched a search for the country’s fighter jet and its pilot who went missing during a training exercise.
The plane, a one-seater F/A-18C is missing from Susten in central Switzerland on Monday afternoon, the Swiss defense ministry was quoted as saying by Thanhnien News.
The suspected accident site in the mountainous Alpine region was difficult to access, with unfavorable weather and darkness hindering the search efforts.
Swiss Air Force commander Aldo Schellenberg told a media conference that he is extremely shocked by the incident. However, he also expressed hope in survival chances.
The incident began when the aircraft took off from the air base at Meiringen at 1401 GMT as the second plane in a training exercise, Swiss news agency SDA reported.
Radio contact with the base was lost at around 1405 GMT, and the plane was logged as missing.
A search mission was launched with helicopters, but was later abandoned due to bad weather. Two ground-based search teams have also begun looking for the pilot and the aircraft, while an investigation into the suspected crash is now going on.
Now it is the third incident that the Swiss Airforce has lost one of its F/A 18 jets in last three years. A pilot was injured when an aircraft crashed in October 2015 in southeast France, while another F/A 18 crashed in 2013.
Earlier this year a Swiss F-5E air demonstration fighter jet was collided with another plane and was crashed into a pond in the northern Netherlands ahead of an air show.