US F-15s got here near hitting parachutists, report says – Europe

US F-15s got here near hitting parachutists, report says

LAKENHEATH, England – A routine patrol was something however when two U.S. fighter jets got here near colliding with a pair of parachutists over southern England earlier this 12 months, a report by a British air security board says.

One of many skydivers, outfitted with a helmet-mounted digicam, filmed two F-15s passing underneath them above Cambridgeshire, mentioned a report launched in July by UK Airprox.

The 2 F-15s, from RAF Lakenheath, had been on routine patrol when the near-miss occurred in April, 48th Fighter Wing spokeswoman Sybil Taunton mentioned.

That they had simply been handed off by air site visitors controllers at RAF Coningsby to these at RAF Lakenheath when the incident occurred, mentioned the report.

The pilot of the lead F-15 advised Airprox he had modified course after the handover to keep away from a KC-135 refueling tanker that “was on a collision course with the formation,” and inadvertently ended up over Chatteris airfield, which is well-liked with skydivers.

The pilot mentioned he “was not conscious that Chatteris had been energetic and this was not talked about by air site visitors management,” the report mentioned.

The parachutists had been falling at 120 mph, they advised Airprox. The 2 F-15s had been touring at almost 3 times that pace – 345 mph – and the pilots mentioned they didn’t see the skydivers, the report mentioned.

RAF Lakenheath is “utilizing this incident to strengthen the important significance of situational consciousness and a spotlight to element for all of our air site visitors controllers and aircrew,” mentioned Col. Will Marshall, 48th Fighter Wing commander.

“U.Ok. airspace is extremely complicated and infrequently congested, and the security of our aircrew in addition to these we share the skies with is our primary precedence,” he mentioned.

Twitter: @chrisbdennis