UAE fighter pilot alive after crash in Libya

The plane veered off the runway on landing, forcing the pilot to eject.

ABU DHABI // The pilot of a UAE fighter jet that had been patrolling the no-fly zone over Libyan skies was forced to eject from the aircraft after it veered off the runway on landing yesterday.

The incident happened at about 11.35am in Sigonella, Sicily, according to a statement issued by Nato. Nato did not release the nationality of the aircraft, in line with its policy, but another statement issued on the state news agency WAM confirmed it was a UAE jet.

The Italian Carabinieri will open an investigation to determine what happened.

The F-16 aircraft swerved off the runway because of bad weather, according to a statement from the General Commander of the UAE Armed Forces

"The pilot had to eject from the plane to save his life and minor damages were caused to the plane's frame," it said.

The UAE is one of several countries that have condemned the killing of civilians in Libya and its air force has committed six F-16 planes, and six Mirage aircraft "to participate in the patrols that now enforce the no-fly zone established over Libya", said the statement.

The fighter's participation in the military operations are in accordance with a resolution passed by the UN Security Council.

"The UAE's engagement in military international air patrols is based on its interest in contributing any possible effort to protect Libyan civilians," the statement added.

newsdesk@thenational.ae

Published: April 28, 2011 04:00 AM

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