Saturday, September 18, 2010

Germany Suspends Eurofighter Operations

The German Air Force on Sept. 15 suspended indefinitely all flying operations with its Eurofighter jets because of technical problems with the plane's ejection seats, a Defense Ministry spokesman said.

The Financial Times Deutschland newspaper reported on Sept. 16 that this action was taken after the crash of a two-seat Eurofighter at the end of August in Spain. Experts suspect that a bird strike had destroyed important sensors.

While the Spanish pilot escaped successfully using the ejection seat, the parachute had become disconnected from the seat of the Saudi co-pilot, who died.

All 55 German planes are grounded until further notice. In the meantime, older F-4 Phantom fighter jets, which are being replaced by the Eurofighter, will again carry out the air policing of skies over southern Germany.

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