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French Rafale Hits Power Lines During Low Altitude Training Flight

F-7

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File photo of a French Air Force Rafale. In the box the damage suffered by the jet on Feb. 17, 2021 (Image credit: FAF).

The damaged Rafale aircraft landed safely ten minutes later. No casualties were reported on the ground.
A Rafale of the Armée de l’Air et de l’Espace (French Air and Space Force) struck medium voltage power lines during a low altitude training flight at around 2PM local time on Feb. 17, 2021 near Le Castellet (Alpes-de-Haute-Provence). The aircraft, belonging to the 4e Escadre de Chasse (4th Fighter Squadron), took off together with another Rafale from the Base aérienne 113 Saint-Dizier-Robinson.
According to the local newspaper La Provence, the Rafale was flying at less than 80 m (about 260 ft) when it hit and subsequently cut three cables of the power lines, leaving the nearby town of Le Castellet without electricity for about three hours. After falling to the ground, the damaged cables caused a small fire which was quickly extinguished by the firefighters that were alerted by the locals as they saw the incident unfolding.

The possible location of the incident should be alongside the D12 road, which was reported interrupted while the firefighters were on scene and damage was being repaired, between Oraison and Le Castellet, near the Itardes district. In that area, by using Google Maps satellite view and street view, two parallel medium voltage power lines of three cables each can be seen crossing the valley after leaving a hydroelectric power plant.
The damaged Rafale landed safely ten minutes later at the Base aérienne 115 Orange-Caritat, as confirmed by an Air Force spokesperson to La Provence: “There were no casualties. This in-flight incident forced the pilot of the aircraft to land safely at 14:11 [at the Orange air base]. [We] deplore this extremely rare incident”. An investigation has been initiated by the Armée de l’Air et de l’Espace and the Bureau Enquêtes Accidents pour la sécurité de l’aéronautique d’État (Bureau of Accident Investigation for the Safety of State Aeronautics).
The damaged Rafale as seen after the landing at Orange. (Photo: Armée de l’Air et de l’Espace)
The Rafale hit the cables with the left wing area. Damage compatible with the three cables can be seen near the pivot point of the left canard, the canard itself, air inlet, landing light, external fuel tank and wing. While the canard, wing and air inlets sustained only dents and scratches, damage is more extensive on the fuel tank and the fuselage near the pivot point of the canard, where the cables cut holes in the metal and composite materials.

Similar incidents happened in 2012 and 2014, involving a Mirage 200 and Mirage F1CR respectively. Following the investigations, the BEA-É recommended the AdlA to limit the minimum altitude of training flights, establish specific low altitude training areas and focus on best practices to maximize safety during this type of flight, as well as the creation of an exhaustive list of power lines in order to identify those constituting a significant danger to air traffic and check their signalling systems.

https://theaviationist.com/2021/02/...ng-low-altitude-training-flight/#vuukle-emote
 

Gomig-21

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File photo of a French Air Force Rafale. In the box the damage suffered by the jet on Feb. 17, 2021 (Image credit: FAF).

The damaged Rafale aircraft landed safely ten minutes later. No casualties were reported on the ground.
A Rafale of the Armée de l’Air et de l’Espace (French Air and Space Force) struck medium voltage power lines during a low altitude training flight at around 2PM local time on Feb. 17, 2021 near Le Castellet (Alpes-de-Haute-Provence). The aircraft, belonging to the 4e Escadre de Chasse (4th Fighter Squadron), took off together with another Rafale from the Base aérienne 113 Saint-Dizier-Robinson.
According to the local newspaper La Provence, the Rafale was flying at less than 80 m (about 260 ft) when it hit and subsequently cut three cables of the power lines, leaving the nearby town of Le Castellet without electricity for about three hours. After falling to the ground, the damaged cables caused a small fire which was quickly extinguished by the firefighters that were alerted by the locals as they saw the incident unfolding.

The possible location of the incident should be alongside the D12 road, which was reported interrupted while the firefighters were on scene and damage was being repaired, between Oraison and Le Castellet, near the Itardes district. In that area, by using Google Maps satellite view and street view, two parallel medium voltage power lines of three cables each can be seen crossing the valley after leaving a hydroelectric power plant.
The damaged Rafale landed safely ten minutes later at the Base aérienne 115 Orange-Caritat, as confirmed by an Air Force spokesperson to La Provence: “There were no casualties. This in-flight incident forced the pilot of the aircraft to land safely at 14:11 [at the Orange air base]. [We] deplore this extremely rare incident”. An investigation has been initiated by the Armée de l’Air et de l’Espace and the Bureau Enquêtes Accidents pour la sécurité de l’aéronautique d’État (Bureau of Accident Investigation for the Safety of State Aeronautics).
The damaged Rafale as seen after the landing at Orange. (Photo: Armée de l’Air et de l’Espace)
The Rafale hit the cables with the left wing area. Damage compatible with the three cables can be seen near the pivot point of the left canard, the canard itself, air inlet, landing light, external fuel tank and wing. While the canard, wing and air inlets sustained only dents and scratches, damage is more extensive on the fuel tank and the fuselage near the pivot point of the canard, where the cables cut holes in the metal and composite materials.

Similar incidents happened in 2012 and 2014, involving a Mirage 200 and Mirage F1CR respectively. Following the investigations, the BEA-É recommended the AdlA to limit the minimum altitude of training flights, establish specific low altitude training areas and focus on best practices to maximize safety during this type of flight, as well as the creation of an exhaustive list of power lines in order to identify those constituting a significant danger to air traffic and check their signalling systems.

https://theaviationist.com/2021/02/...ng-low-altitude-training-flight/#vuukle-emote
I saw that on Twitter this morning and couldn't help compare the damage the A-10 Warthog takes and still returns to base, but this might've had a bit of fuel or even if it was empty, the risk of fuel fumes combined with pressure could lead to a disaster. Yet it not only is it a testament to the solid build of the fuel tank, but you can also see the composite elements to the fuselage of the aircraft which adds to its lower RCS. And what a beauty of an aircraft. So sleek and sexy and I bet the design, like the F-16 will be timeless 40 years from now.

It also reminded me of the dude who ejected himself by accident (a back-seater going for a joyride in a Rafale) and as the bird took off and leveled itself, the dude wasn't ready for that and grabbed the ejection handle by 2nd nature lol poor guy and out the (can we say "window" lmfao) he went and the pilot I'm sure was like bloody helI WTF just happened and turned around and landed to hear the hilarious story. Now they know to be sure to include that very important element in the preflight directions lmaooooo. Thank God he was ok because from what I heard, he wasn't a very young fella after all but no major injury, just a major embarrassment. I'm sure you heard that story ey? 😁

Some nostalgia for you there, my good friend, LoG. These were part of the original F-16A for Egypt back in 1987 if I'm not mistaken. Thought of you immediately for obvious reasons.

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ARMalik

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Oh here we go again, the indians are about to crash their Rafales. Let the counting begin for the first Rafale to crash SOON ...... 10, 9, 8, 7, 6 .......... :lol:
 

Capt. Karnage

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Oh here we go again, the indians are about to crash their Rafales. Let the counting begin for the first Rafale to crash SOON ...... 10, 9, 8, 7, 6 .......... :lol:
Lol pakistani and their wishful thinking. You better pray that paf pilots don't crash anymore of their aircraft:D

On topic:
I must say I am really impressed by Rafales low altitude flying capabilities, they will even beat Jags it would appear.
 

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