F-16 Fighting Falcon News

Top mice take over Dutch F-16s

January 25, 2005 (by Lieven Dewitte) - Mice seeking shelter in the cold Dutch winter found a short-lived home inside four Dutch air force F16 fighter jets by building nests with wiring they had gnawed loose.

RNLAF F-16A, #J-223, at Leeuwarden AFB on May 11th, 1982. Note the black radome of the early block 1 vipers [Robs Aircraft Picture Library photo by John Smith]

"We are based next to a large nature reserve with potato fields and as it's winter, mice seek warm places to shelter," said Kirsten Regnery, an air force spokeswoman at the Leeuwarden F-16 base in the north of the country.

The mice nests and damaged cables were found recently in F-16s that were awaiting a major maintenance overhaul. Regnery said the pest control division of the army was called in to make the jet hangars "mice unfriendly" with traps and poison.

There were no big material or financial damages. The planes have been serviced, have new wiring and are now airborne again.