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Military pilot acquitted of negligence over 2015 crash 

F/A-18 fighter jet
F/A-18 fighter jets are used by the Swiss army. © Keystone / Peter Klaunzer

A Swiss military court has acquitted a Swiss pilot accused of negligence after he ejected from a plane in 2015 before it crashed in the French Jura. 

The prosecutor had requested a 60-day suspended fine for several violations of the service regulations, as well as for negligent abuse and waste of material. However, in its Friday judgment the court in Aarau, northern Switzerland, ruled in favour of the defence request for acquittal. 

The first staff lieutenant, 43, ejected from an F/A-18 that had become uncontrollable during military exercises. He was slightly injured. The plane crashed in Glamondans, France, near the Swiss border. The damage reached CHF55 million ($62 million). 

The accident happened on October 14, 2015 during a training exercise that also involved two Tiger aircraft belonging to the Swiss air force, neither of which were damaged. 

An investigation published in 2017 found that the jet’s left engine had stalled, causing it to lose power and begin rolling to the left while rapidly losing altitude.

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SWI - a branch of Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG SSR

SWI - a branch of Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG SSR