2 Die, 1 Hurt as Jets Collide Over West Germany
A British Tornado fighter jet collided in the air Friday with two West German military aircraft and crashed near the town of Wiesmoor in the northwest corner of West Germany.
The two crewmen in the British plane were killed, officials said, and a West German pilot was injured. Five houses were slightly damaged by falling debris but no injuries were reported among the townspeople.
The incident is certain to renew public opposition to low-level military flights over West Germany, sources in Bonn said Friday. Officials of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization are concerned that a reduction in training flights will reduce combat efficiency.
Friday’s incident occurred when the British jet, which was on a routine flight, flew into a formation of West German Alfajet trainers preparing to land at Wittmund Air Base.
The British plane collided with two of the West German planes, causing one to crash and the other to make a forced landing at the base.
The British pilot and navigator were killed. The West German pilot whose damaged aircraft crashed was injured but parachuted safely to the ground.
Witnesses said the British plane crashed about 500 yards from a village school at Wiesmoor.
A government source said the planes had been flying at an altitude of about 560 feet over lowlands near the North Sea, just east of the Dutch border.