Pilot dies, another survives after German Eurofighter jets collide

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Only one pilot was able to safely eject from his Eurofighter

A German air force pilot was killed when his fighter jet collided with another during a training mission in north-eastern Germany.

Key points:

  • One pilot escaped and was rescued after being found hanging from a tree by a parachute
  • The collision is the first fatal crash involving German Eurofighters
  • The jets cost about $144 million each

The pilot of the other Eurofighter Typhoon jet was able to eject safely and survived, but was left hanging from a parachute in a tree.

Germany’s Defence Minister Ursula von der Leyen said three unarmed fighter jets left their base in Laage, near the Baltic sea port of Rostock, shortly before 2:00pm on Monday (local time).

“After about 20 minutes, there was an aerial collision between two Eurofighters, with fatal consequences,” she said.

A burning jet falls from a clear sky.

The third pilot saw two parachutes descending to the ground.

“One pilot was recovered alive, but the second pilot was dead when he was found,” Ms von der Leyen said.

Two Eurofighter jets with their landing gear down take off in formation.

“We share in the grief of the relatives.”

Eyewitness videos showed the burning planes falling from the sky and later, two plumes of smoke rising from the ground.

Firefighters were deployed to extinguish fires.

Police warned the public not to approach potentially dangerous debris at the site.

The Eurofighter Typhoon was jointly developed by Britain, Germany, Italy and Spain.

More than 550 of the jets have been delivered since 2003, at a cost of close to $US100 million ($144 million) apiece.

Monday’s collision was the first fatal crash involving a German Eurofighter, the military said.