Dropping tornado tanks over Schleswig-Holstein: Luftwaffe names reason

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The Tactical Air Force Squadron 51 "Immelmann" has explained the cause of the dropping of two additional tanks from a tornado jet over Schleswig-Holstein, which was done a week ago.

"Meanwhile, we were able to rule out technical failure, so there was a human error," said Colonel Kristof Conrath, Commodore of the squadron, to the news agency dpa on Thursday.

The aircraft belonging to the air base Jagel in Schleswig-Holstein had held a training flight, with which a "simulated air attack procedure" should be trained, as a student pilot who had been sitting in the front of the machine pressed the wrong button and an emergency ejection mechanism had triggered.

When the tanks hit, there were no casualties. The additional fuel tanks filled with 1,200 kilograms of fuel at the start were practically empty at the time of the accident.

The squadron that investigated the incident suggested in a report to the "General Aviation Safety" department that they would additionally secure the firing mechanism of the tanks.

According to the Air Force, there have been two similar cases in the past: in early 2006, a tornado lost its outer tanks during an exercise on international waters. Once again it came in North Rhine-Westphalia to a fuel shed.

ash / ae / dpa



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