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Hungarian Air Force Jet Fighter Crashes in Czech Republic

© Flickr / AirwolfhoundJAS-39 Gripen
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During landing, the aircraft – for reasons undefined – ran off the air strip into the field. Both pilots ejected from the plane. The aircraft was flying from its military base in Hungary to Caslaw. No one was injured in the accident.

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A Saab JAS 39 Gripen multirole jet fighter of the Hungarian Air Forces crashed on Tuesday during a landing near the city of Caslaw in the Czech Republic. Both pilots managed to eject from the plane, spokesperson of the Czech Defense Ministry Petr Medek told RIA Novosti.

"Near the city of Caslaw, in midland Czech, a Saab JAS 39 Gripen multirole jet fighter of the Hungarian Air Forces crashed. During landing, the aircraft – for reasons undefined – ran off the air strip into the field. Both pilots ejected from the plane. The aircraft was flying from its military base in Hungary to Caslaw. No one was injured in the accident. An investigation has been launched into the crash," Medek said.

According to him, the Lion Effort 2015 six-party aerial exercises which were underway in the area have been suspended. All the planes which were flying over the area were redirected to the Pardubice airfield. The Caslaw airfield was temporarily closed.

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The Lion Effort 2015 drills kicked off last week and involved pilots from the Czech Republic, Sweden and Hungary on the Saab JAS 39 Gripen jet fighter. They were assisted by German Air Force pilots on the Eurofighter Typhoon jet which flew from their own airfields, Polish pilots on the F-16 jet and Thai pilots who came to Europe without their own aircraft.

Additionally, during the exercises, the Czech Republic used its domestically-made L-159 ALCA assault aircraft; the CASA C-295 and Let L-140 transport planes as well as the Mi-24 and Mi-171 helicopters.

Caslaw is where the main base of the Hungarian Air Force is located. There are 14 Swedish-produced Saab JAS 39 Gripens (12 of them are combat, the two others are trainers). The Czech government leased the aircraft from Sweden.

Currently, the government of Slovakia is discussing the possibility of the same lease. If it says yes, pilots from the Czech Republic and Slovakia will jointly protect the skies over the two countries.

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