Two Charged With Negligent Homicide In 2016 Air Force Plane Crash

(MENAFN- Swissinfo) The plane crashed into a mountainside near the Susten Pass and the pilot was killed immediately. © Keystone / Alexandra Wey

Swiss military justice officials have indicted a Skyguide air traffic controller and an air force pilot following investigations into the 2016 crash of a F/A-18 military jet in the Swiss Alps which left a second pilot dead.

This content was published on March 31, 2023 March 31, 2023 minutes Keystone-SDA/jc

The two men are charged with negligent homicide, negligent disregard of service regulations, negligent obstruction of public traffic, and negligent misuse and waste of equipment, according to a military justice statement on Friday. They continue to be presumed innocent until proven guilty, it added.

The accident occurred during air combat training, shortly after the take-off of a two-plane patrol from Meiringen air base in the Bernese Oberland on August 29, 2016. The pilot of the second aircraft tried to lock his radar on to his leader's aircraft, which was flying in front of him, in order to follow him.

However, this did not work. The pilot contacted the air traffic controller in Meiringen who told him to climb to an altitude of 10,000 feet (3,048 metres above sea level). The pilot followed these instructions and, 58 seconds after the last radio communication, crashed into the western flank of the Hinter-Tierberg mountain in the Susten region. The 27-year-old pilot was killed instantly, and his plane was completely destroyed.

The crash occurred 11 metres below the ridge at an altitude of 3,319 metres. In an interim report published in April 2020, the military justice authorities considered that the accident was due to an incorrect altitude indication. The air traffic controller probably indicated too low an altitude to the pilot, they said. Another cause of the air accident could be that the leader did not fully comply with the standard specifications during take-off, the report added.

Skyguide, which manages civil and military air traffic control, has acknowledged its responsibility, saying that in collaboration with the Swiss Air Force, it has taken measures to ensure that such an accident does not happen again.



Legal Disclaimer:
MENAFN provides the information “as is” without warranty of any kind. We do not accept any responsibility or liability for the accuracy, content, images, videos, licenses, completeness, legality, or reliability of the information contained in this article. If you have any complaints or copyright issues related to this article, kindly contact the provider above.