A military investigation has disclosed that the crash of a Swiss F/A-18 fighter jet in October 2015 in the French Jura region took place because of human error.
The investigation found that the pilot, who survived with light injuries did not carry out emergency procedures properly, Swissinfo.ch reported Tuesday.
On October 14, 2015, an F/A-18 jet with one pilot on board was flying in airspace shared by the Swiss and French for training exercises. During that time it was crashed in a field near the village of Glamondans, east of the French city of Besançon.
The accident occurred late in the morning during a training exercise with two F-5 Tiger planes, Swiss government said in a statement on Tuesday outlining their assessment of the event.
Further, a detailed investigation revealed that the jet’s left engine had stalled, causing it to lose power. The plane had rolled to the left and rapidly lost altitude. The pilot had been unable to stabilize the plane and had activated his ejector seat several moments later. He injured himself slightly on landing.
“The pilot ejected without having applied the necessary emergency measures required in the event of an engine stall and did not carry out or at least did not correctly carry the manoeuvres specified when a plane starts to roll or lurch,” it stated.
Other reasons for the crash, such as a technical failure, pilot health or intervention of a third party could all be ruled out, says investigation.
The pilot could have reduced the speed of the affected engine and lowered its pressure, which would have prevented it from stalling and allowing him to regain control, the authorities said. The pilot, who had over 3,000 hours of flying experience, is also accused of not having recognised safety flying altitudes.
Switzerland’s F/A-18 jets have been involved in a series of recent accidents. An F/A-18 military jet also crashed into the mountains in central Switzerland in August 2016, while two F-5 fighter jets from the Patrouille Suisse aerobatic display team collided in the Netherlands in June. Another F/A-18 was written off after crashing near Lake Lucerne in 2013.