Swiss fighter crashes in Netherlands ahead of air show

THE HAGUE, Netherlands – A Swiss fighter crashed and burst into flames in the northern Netherlands on Thursday, June 9, after hitting another jet during a training session before an air show, officials said.

"Two Tiger F-5E plans from the Patrouille Suisse collided this afternoon during a training flight for an air show in Leeuwarden," the Swiss defense ministry said.

The pilot from the aerobatics team of the Swiss air force ejected to safety, Dutch and Swiss officials said.

But his jet crashed into a large pond in the northern Friesland village of Beetgum, bursting into flames, near the Leeuwarden air base which is hosting a major air show this weekend.

"The pilot ejected to safety," the local Friesen fire brigade said on its Twitter account.

He fell through nearby agricultural greenhouses and was taken to hospital to be treated for his injuries, the Dutch broadcaster NOS reported.

Television images showed a plume of smoke rising from the burning wreckage, which looked to have narrowly avoided slamming into a nearby house. –