F-16 of Belgian army makes emergency landing at Ostend airport (Inland)

The F-16 made an emergency landing at Ostend airport. © Jeffrey Roos


An F-16 of Defense had to make an emergency landing at Ostend airport during a training flight on Monday afternoon after a bird collided with the aircraft. It is not yet clear whether the bird ended up in the engine of the jet fighter.

Jeffrey Roos

Today at 17:25

In aviation there is a procedure that prescribes that an aircraft must land immediately after contact with a bird. “There was no danger to the pilot at any time,” said Cédric Maes, spokesman for the Ministry of Defense. “It is true that the pilot has to land as soon as there was contact with a bird.”

Together with another F-16, the affected aircraft had left the Klein Brogel military air base for a training flight. Both aircraft should have landed there again after the training. “Over Ostend, however, things went wrong and the F-16 came into contact with a bird. As a result, the aircraft had to land immediately in Ostend, since there is an airport there. That could be done in a safe way, without endangering anyone,” said Maes.

The other aircraft was able to fly back to Kleine Brogel. “The second aircraft was indeed able to return without any problems. The affected device will remain in Ostend for the time being and is now being examined by technicians. The investigation must show whether the animal ended up in the engine,” concludes Maes.

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