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L39 of the Breitling Jet Team crashes

The L39 number 2 of the Breitling Jet Team crashed Saturday night, returning from an airshow. Fortunately the pilot and passenger ejected and are unharmed. The pilot flew the plane above inhabited terrain to eject and let the plane crash without causing any further damage. The crash happened at the border between Belgium and the Netherlands. The pilot was going to land when he noticed a technical problem causing the engine to fail. The pilot and passenger were transported to the hospital for checks but seemed to be ok. The Breitling Jet Team has cancelled its participation in the next airshows, but will keep on touring the Middle East in the next months.

breitling team

This accident arrives at a time when many administrations are double checking the L39, which unfortunately has made front news recently. Many crashes have been reported, usually unfortunately with the deaths of experienced pilots. This is another drop in the bucket that may well be full now, and many will rethink the overall safety of the aircraft and especially the engine, which failure has been responsible in many crashes in the past. It is also fair to say that many crashes have been due to excess of confidence and sometimes stupidity. What is also surprising with the Breitling Jet Team is that they will not wait for the conclusions on the accident to decide whether to cancel the shows or not. I know you don’t forbid all Boeing or Airbus from flying when there is a crash, but the L39 is a peculiar aircraft, pushed to the limits by the display, and it would be wise to truly understand what happened.

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