A Swedish Air Force JAS 39 Gripen fighter aircraft crashed near an air base in southern Sweden Tuesday after striking several birds while it was about to land, Sweden’s Armed Forces said.
The incident occurred at about 9.45 a.m. (0745 GMT) north of Ronneby, near Karlskrona — 160 kilometers (99 miles) east of Malmo, Sweden’s third largest city.
The pilot of fighter aborted the landing after the birdstrike and ejected, said Col. Lars Bergstrom, head of the Blekinge Air Force Wing near Ronneby in southern Sweden. “The pilot is in good spirits and is doing fine,” Bergstrom told a news conference, adding he was taken to a nearby hospital for checks. “We could see the whole thing from the control tower.”
The Swedish Accident Investigation Authority will investigate the crash of the aircraft.
Last year, a Royal Thai Air Force pilot died when his JAS 39 Gripen jet crashed at an air show in southern Thailand after suddenly losing altitude and crashed in a ball of fire.
Saab JAS 39 Gripen is a light single-engine multirole fighter aircraft manufactured by the Swedish aerospace company Saab. It was designed to replace the Saab 35 Draken and 37 Viggen in the Swedish Air Force (Flygvapnet).
The Gripen has a delta wing and canard configuration with relaxed stability design and fly-by-wire flight controls, and is powered by Volvo RM12 afterburning turbofan jet engine. The aircraft has a top speed of Mach 2.