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Belgian F-16 collides with building at Dutch airbase

July 1, 2021 (by Lieven Dewitte) - A Belgian F-16AM collided with a building at a Dutch airbase this morning as it prepared to take off, injuring two people.

A Belgian F-16 has collided with a building at Leeuwarden Air Base (Friesland) in the Netherlands. The pilot used his ejection seat to get himself to safety but got injured. He broke a leg after landing in a ditch and was taken to hospital for observation.

Something appears to have gone wrong when starting up the aircraft. Due to a throttle failure the engine accelerated too quickly and it jumped the chocks, before crashing into a hangar.

A Belgian technician is also hospitalised.

The F-16 pilot was carrying out the start-up procedures and checks before taking off. It is during that start-up that the F-16, for a reason that is still unclear, started to move and pick up speed. According to the Dutch Ministry of Defense, the aircraft "probably accelerated by itself."

The aircraft then crashed into a building where employees of the F-16 armament service reside.

The second injured person is a Belgian technician who was standing next to the F-16, and who was going through a series of departure safety procedures together with the pilot. The technician was connected to the aircraft with a cable. He was taken to hospital for a check-up.

The emergency services responded quickly and as a precaution, the fire brigade kept the aircraft wet with their crash tenders. There was no fire or explosion following the incident. The F-16 is stationed at Florennes Air Base.

The crashed F-16 is FA-130 (#89-0008), part of 2 Wing, based at Florennes.

The Dutch Safety Board, an independent body that investigates security incidents in the Netherlands, is conducting exploratory investigations into the incident. A team from the Aviation Safety Investigation Board of the Belgian army will also be on site.

The Belgian Air Force had five aircraft, four students, four instructors and support staff at Leeuwarden military airbase for a weapon instructor course. The course lasts until October 22 and Dutch and Norwegian pilots are taking part as well.

Today also marks the last day that the Dutch F-16s make operational flights from Leeuwarden Air Base. After 42 years, the Royal Netherlands Air Force (RNlAF) was to say goodbye to F-16 operations there as Volkel Air Base will be the new location for the aircraft.

A grand farewell was planned. All F-16s at the airbase would take off at 11:15h in a mass take-off. They would fly in different formations. The festivities are canceled for the time being due to the incident.

Additional images:

BAF F-16AM #FA-130 from the 2nd Wing seen landing at Florennes AB on March 15th, 2005. [Photo by Ray Binder]

BAF F-16AM #FA-130 is parked in front of a shelter at Beauvechain AB during the Belgian Defence days in September of 2006. [Photo by Dirk A. Geerts]
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