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Belgian F-16 clips power line in Morocco

December 16, 2010 (by Lieven Dewitte) - Last November, a Belgian F-16 pilot hit a power line in Morocco during a training flight. As a consequence, parts of Morocco and Algeria were cut of from electricity for a while.

BAF F-16A block 15 #FA-118 seen above a magnificent landscape over Morocco in the vicinity of Meknes were the Belgians practise low-level flying every year. [BAF photo]

The 350th squadron, which is based in Florennes, deployed to Sidi Slimane Air Base in Morocco with seven F-16s. They were preparing for a NATO operation in Afghanistan (ISAF), the latter which has a similar landscape.

During a training mission, a pilot was flying too low and ended up hitting a power line. The aircraft could still land safely.

The Belgian Air Force confirmed the incident, but the investigation on the case is still ongoing.

Morocco is currently receiving the first of 24 F-16 block 52 fighters which they ordered in 2008. They are paying $35 million per F-16 Block 52, which includes advanced countermeasures, electronic warfare and support equipment.

Additional images:

The first Moroccan F-16C block 52 #08-8001, seen here on September 21st, 2010, is scheduled to fly in the fall of 2010. Morocco, the 25th nation to operate the F-16, ordered twenty-four block 52 aircraft in 2009. The two-tone light brown scheme with grey underside is unique to the Moroccan Air Force. [Lockheed Martin photo by Randy Crites]