The Dutch state broadcaster NOS has reported a Royal Netherlands Air Force F-16 Fighting Falcon aircraft literally ran into its own rounds in January during an exercise over Vlieland.
According to the Dutch Broadcast Foundation, the incident occurred during the January exercise at the Leeuwarden air base, but information about it appeared only now. January 21, two F-16 fighter jets took off and opened fire on targets at the test site.
The pilot of one of the F-16 fighter jet aircraft had flown into his own stream of cannon rounds and later suffered considerable damage.
At least one fired round caused damage to the exterior of the aircraft. Parts of the munition also ended up in the engine.
Nobody was hurt during the incident. The pilot followed emergency procedures and was able to land the fighter jet safely at Leeuwarden Air Base.
The Netherlands Defense Safety Inspection is looking into how one of the aircraft was able to shoot itself. The inspection would also like to find out if aircraft crew or ground personnel was endangered during the exercise.
The investigation is now in full swing. Tests are being run and the inspection is in conversation with those involved. “This is a serious incident. We therefore want to fully investigate what happened and how we would be able to avoid this in future”, inspector-general Bagerbos said.