Dutch F-16 pilot strafes range control tower

Source: Flightglobal.com
This story is sourced from Flightglobal.com

The Royal Netherlands Air Force has launched an investigation after a Lockheed Martin F-16AM pilot accidentally strafed the control tower at the Vliehors range on the island of Vlieland during a training flight on 4 November.

During the incident, several live rounds from the aircraft's 20mm cannon caused minor damage to the tower. Two controllers who were inside the building at the moment of the attack were not injured.

asset image

Rex Features

The pilot had been supposed to hit a strafing target that was located approximately 500m (1,640ft) away from the control tower. It is not yet clear what the reason for the mistake was, with a security committee to investigate the incident.

Located to the north of the Netherlands, the Vliehors range is the only facility in the country where the air force can conduct live-fire training.

The recent incident is not the first such mishap to have been recorded at the Vliehors range. In 2001, the crew of a German air force Panavia Tornado hit the same control tower with cannon fire, while in 1992 a Royal Danish Air Force F-16 pilot fired an air-to-ground missile which resulted in one range staff member suffering minor injuries.