Pilot survives after Swedish fighter jet brought down by flock of birds

Officials say are there about 400 incidents of planes colliding with birds every year

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 21 August, 2018, 8:20pm
UPDATED : Tuesday, 21 August, 2018, 8:26pm

A Swedish fighter jet crashed after colliding with a flock of birds on Tuesday, authorities said, adding the pilot ejected safely.

“It was a bird collision and the pilot had to eject,” said Johan Lundgren, spokesman at the Swedish Armed Forces.

The pilot was on a training mission in a Jas Gripen aircraft manufactured by Swedish aerospace company Saab.

The accident happened 8km (five miles) north of a military airbase near the southern Swedish city of Ronneby.

The pilot was taken to a hospital for a check-up.

Authorities said the accident happened in a forest area and no casualties were reported.

Sweden reports about 400 incidents where planes collide with birds every year, Charlotte Billgren at the Swedish Transport Agency told the TT news agency.

Saab Defence and Security is a major exporter of military material such as the Gripen fighter jet to the Czech Republic, Hungary, South Africa, Thailand and Brazil.

In 2017, a Gripen fighter jet crashed in Thailand during an air show. The pilot died.

And in 2015, another jet leased by Hungary skidded off the runway at a Czech airbase and was completely damaged.