NATO jets collide in exercise over Lithuania

French Mirage 2000-C jets participating in NATO

From Liudas Dapkus, the AP:  A Lithuanian military plane collided midair with a French NATO jet Tuesday and crashed after its two pilots ejected, officials in both countries said.

The French Mirage fighter landed safely after the collision with the Lithuanian L-39 Albatros combat training aircraft near the Zokniai air base in northern Lithuania. The Lithuanian pilots ejected and were taken to a hospital for medical checkups, officials said. . . .

French military spokesman Col. Thierry Burkhard said the accident happened during a patrol flight involving two Mirage 2000C jets and the Lithuanian aircraft.

"During the patrol, there was a collision between two aircraft – one French and the Lithuanian – and this led to the ejection of the two Lithuanian pilots, and the two French planes landed," he said.

"The two Lithuanian pilots were recovered, and are safe and sound, and they are on the way to a local hospital for a check, and the two French pilots are safe and sound naturally because they were able to land," Burkhard said.  (photo: ADC Eric Sarda/French Air Force)


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