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German Luftwaffe takes down Learjet

Once again, our esteemed Luftwaffe has taken down a civil aircraft. This time not an unrelated 3rd party but a Learjet that served as an interception target for training. The Learjet crashed, killing two persons on board, the Eurofighter was able to land at its Luftwaffe base.

Why on earth don’t they use drones for the air prox training? It is not the first time such an accident happens. The fighter jets have ejection seats but the Learjet doesn’t. I was once asked by Luftwaffe whether they could intercept me for training and I agreed. Will do no more.


Following the recent incident in France, where a D-Exxx machine (DA-40?) was intercepted by a French Air Force Rafale, all of the German forums were indignant with the stupidity of the French over-reaction. Not wholly without reason. But I am curious to read them now, I reckon they’ll be far less outspoken.

EBZH Kiewit, Belgium

Can we leave sensationalism to the press, please?

They haven’t taken down a ‘civilian’ a/c, but one that was employed as ‘target’. Quite different, methinks. Doesn’t make it any less tragic, though.

Apologies – there are differences, sure enough, and indeed there is an industry dedicated to sensationalism. One we do wish to keep apart from.

And yes, yes , yes, shit does happen, and will happen again.

The worst to read is the opening “once again” , seems to indicate no (or not enough) lessons were learned from earlier mishaps..?

But as regards “They haven’t taken down a ‘civilian’ a/c” , that is open to interpretation, at least it did have a “D-xxxx” registration ; and it certainly did not have ejection seats, as already pointed out. More’s the pity.

Last Edited by at 23 Jun 18:44
EBZH Kiewit, Belgium

The worst to read is the opening “once again”…

I can’t remember anything similar happening in the past.

EDDS - Stuttgart

I assume the pilot of an aircraft in an interception role is trained to avoid collision. By its nature you are often intercepting pilots who are not trained to fly in formation and may make unpredictable manoeuvres.

Last Edited by JasonC at 23 Jun 20:01
EGTK Oxford

This is indeed a tragedy. But it is not just Germany which uses non-military aircraft for training. I met a Dassault Falcon pilot who (as he described it) was making extra “pocket money” flying mock attacks against French navy ships. What I did not understand was why the Aeronavale or Armee de l’Air would not use their own military aircraft to practice attacking the ships themselves – there would be a logical symmetry and they could use all their military radar and countermeasures voodoo against each other. I can’t remember if he was ex-military (I don’t think so) and it seems more expensive to use private sector in any event. Maybe he was supposed to simulate an anti-ship missile.

EGLM (White Waltham)

all of the German forums were indignant with the stupidity of the French over-reaction. Not wholly without reason.

Err… What reason?


Well, was there really any reason to scramble the Rafale? As I read the media, the pilot was “invited” per radio to land there and there, and did not object. He might well have been left without an escort, or they should have badly mistrusted their primary radar on this plastic plane.

Even if an escort was required, there were more efficient and economical planes than a Rafale. A (fast?) chopper, or a prop plane.

EBZH Kiewit, Belgium

Unless they’re based close by, a chopper or prop plane would take ages to reach the target.
Why the air force should have trusted a pilot’s declared intention to land, when he had failed to respect previous instructions (in this case, avoid the big red zone on his map)?
I’m sometimes puzzled by the attitude of the Germans (or indeed, to a greater extent, the English), who complain endlessly when foreigners don’t respect their customs and laws in Germany, but think rules somehow go out of the window once they themselves go abroad.
At least we (the French) are consistent, and respect rules pretty much nowhere

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