Dramatic week for Skrydstrup Air Force Base
Two separate incidents involving US-made F-16 fighter jets made for a dramatic week for Skrydstrup Air Force Base in southern Jutland.
A Danish F-16 accidentally dropped a missile part as it took part in a training exercise off the western coast of Jutland on Thursday.
The loss was first discovered once the aircraft had landed at Skrydstrup, but military officials are confident that the missile piece fell into the North Sea, over which most of the exercise took place.
“The risk of it being dropped over land is minimal,” Major Hans Bagger of the Danish air tactical command, Flyvertaktisk Kommando, said in a press release.
A readout from the aircraft’s data system indicated that the missile part most likely fell off about 50 sea miles off the coast of western Jutland, although a precise location could not be established.
Bagger said that people should contact the police if they find something that could resemble a missile part.
“Clearly, if someone was to find something that could stem from the one-metre long piece of the grey missile, they shouldn't touch it and should contact the police,” Bagger said.
The military’s department of materials, Forsvarets Materieltjeneste, immediately removed the remaining parts of the missile and initiated an investigation into the ordeal.
Skrydstrup Air Force Base then experienced more drama the following day when a Belgian F-16 was forced to make an emergency landing due to a technical malfunction. The aircraft had been on a training mission when flight instruments indicated that the pressure in the cabin was falling.
Fire trucks and ambulances were assembled as a precaution, but the plane landed without incident.
“The plane could land without issue, and it is standard procedure to assemble rescue units when a plane suffers a problem,” Rune Dyrholm from Flyvertaktisk Kommando told Ekstra Bladet tabloid.