These are troubled times for the European Air Forces which are also part NATO. Close on the heels of a Eurofighter crash in Italy a few weeks back, a Spanish Air Force Eurofighter crashed during a landing after taking part in an airshow. The show was part of Spain's National Day celebration, a day that commemorates the discovery of America by Christopher Columbus.The plane crashed near the Los Llanos Air Base in Albacete, south of Madrid. The plane was returning after the air show and was attempting landing but something horrible happened and the plane hit the ground and burst into flames, killing the pilot who has been identified as Capt Borja Aybar.

He was attached to the 61st Air Force Division and in all probability had no time to eject or he was numbed by other factors. The probability of a malfunction in the fighter cannot be ruled out. YouTube has posted a graphic video of the plane burning in the field.

Unrest in Spain

The celebration this year lacked the fervor of the past as an important province of Spain, Catalonia has unilaterally declared independence from Spain, though the decision is on hold to allow a negotiated settlement. The Spanish National Day is invariably held with a military parade and airshow. This year the parade and the airshow took place as usual.


The Spanish Defense ministry tweeted on their Twitter page where they acknowledged the loss of the plane and the death of the pilot.

This is the third crash involving the fighter plane in 30 days, with all being fatal. On September,13 a Royal Saudi Air Force Eurofighter crashed on a combat mission in Yemen and on September 24 an Italian Air Force fighter crashed before a crowd during an airshow. These accidents are cause for worry and the think tank of the military command must be looking into them, CNN reported.

Follow up

The usual procedures in the case of a crash will be followed by a Board of Inquiry. In this case, the inquiry is important as the cause of the accident, whether due to pilot error or mechanical fault has to be investigated to prevent recurring crashes. If the accident is due to pilot-error, the training and procedures followed by the Spanish air force will need a thorough scrutiny.

Further details of the pilot who perished have not been released but it is a matter of worry that the plane was lost, not during operations in a war zone but during peacetime maneuvers. Having flown supersonics for two decades such accidents during peacetime are not excusable.