FA-99 crashed right outside the airbase in Kleine-Brogel around 15.15h. The incident is most likely due to an engine stall caused by a bird strike.">

F-16 Fighting Falcon News

Belgian F-16 crashes - Pilot parachutes into trees

August 16, 2012 (by Lieven Dewitte) - Belgian Air Force F16AM FA-99 crashed right outside the airbase in Kleine-Brogel around 15.15h. The incident is most likely due to an engine stall caused by a bird strike.

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BAF F-16AM #FA-99 from 31 sqn is the Belgian participant to the MLU M5 software update course held at Leeuwarden AFB on April 15th, 2008. [Photo by Leeuwarden]

The F-16 departed at 14.44 hours from Kleine Brogel AFB for a training flight. Upon his return the control tower fire noticed a fire coming from the back of the jet during a low fly-over. The pilot managed to turn away and eject.

He landed safely by parachute, though he became stuck in a tree. Around 15.55h the pilot was freed by local rescue services.

Right after crash the jet fighter caught fire, which resulted in heavy smoke. Residents were therefor asked to keep windows and doors closed.

The last crash of a Belgian F-16 dates from 2005 when Cdt. Fabrice Massaux crashed in the North Sea near the Dutch island 'Vlieland'. Unfortunately the pilot did not survive.

[Update] The pilot, Jean Francois Van Cranem (24) was only slightly injured and just complained about shoulder pain. The pilot was still in training, but had almost completed that. He had over 500 hours of flying experience of which 132 hours in an F-16.