May 20, 2023 | 21:54
The plane climbed steeply before it nosedived.
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A Spanish pilot ejected from a fighter jet before it violently crashed and exploded at a military base in Zaragoza on Saturday, dramatic footage shows.
The F-18 was training for a flying display when the crash happened, Spain’s public news agency EFE reported.
Video shared on social media shows the plane soaring into the sky as it suddenly appears to stall and then nose dive towards the ground, where it crashed in a burst of flames as shocked onlookers looked on.
According to the Spanish Ministry of Defense, the F-18 jet landed within the boundaries of the Spanish Air and Space Force base, which is about 10 miles outside the city.
The Guardia Civil told The Associated Press that one of its patrols was the first to reach the deployed pilot, who landed just outside the fenced boundaries of the base.
The pilot sustained injuries to his legs as a result of deploying his parachute at such a low altitude.
He was flown by helicopter to an area hospital.
Air Force officials said hours after the crash that the pilot was “making a positive recovery” but would remain in the hospital under observation for “a few days.”
No other injuries were reported.
The cause of the accident remains under investigation. The pilot indicated that the plane suffered some sort of malfunction mid-flight, according to the Guardia Civil.
The American-made F-18 Hornet has been part of the United States Air Force since the 1980s and has been purchased by the air forces of several allied countries.
With Postal Wire