French divers find jet pilot's body

2nd October 2009, Comments 0 comments

French divers have found the body of a pilot who went missing a week ago after a mid-air collision between two Rafale fighter jets over the Mediterranean, the navy said on Thursday.

A team located Francois Duflot's body in the wreckage of the combat plane about 35 kilometres (22 miles) off the coast of Perpignan, said a navy statement.

The two supersonic jets were flying back to the aircraft carrier Charles de Gaulle off the coast of Perpignan after completing a test flight when they went down on 24 September. A second pilot ejected and was rescued.

The collision occurred as France negotiates with Brazil for the sale, worth between EUR 5 and 7 billion, of 36 Rafales, the first export contract for the Dassault-made planes.

The Brazilian air force has asked for information on the crash, the first involving naval versions of the Rafale, which is competing with the US Boeing F/A-18 Super Hornet and the Gripen NG made by Sweden's Saab for the contract.


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