German military plane crash in Swiss Alps due to miscalculation, investigation says
The crash of a German air force jet fighter in the Swiss Alps resulted from crew error, a military inquiry concluded on Thursday.
14 February 2008
BERN - The crash of a German air force jet fighter in the Swiss Alps resulted from crew error, a military inquiry concluded Thursday.
The 27-year-old pilot was killed in the April 12, 2007, crash during a training flight. The other crew member, a 34-year-old weapons systems officer, successfully ejected and ended up hanging by his parachute from a cliff. He was rescued severely injured.
The joint German-Swiss investigation said the crew had complied with all legal requirements for flights over Switzerland, but had miscalculated the Alpine terrain. A technical failure was excluded.
The plane crashed into a cliff near the village of Lauterbrunnen in central Switzerland at an altitude of 3,250m.
Witnesses had said the plane was flying very low, but the investigation concluded it complied with the rule of maintaining a minimum altitude of 300m above the valley.
The Swiss air force said as a result of the crash it has improved advisory services for foreign crew members flying over the Alpine country.[Copyright ap 2008]