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Finnish Air Force Hawk jet crashes, pilots eject

Photo: Finish Defense Forces

A Finnish Air Force Hawk jet training aircraft crashed south of Keuruu, Finland, in the afternoon hours of May 15.

Both pilots of the two-seater plane were safely rescued thanks to the activation of their ejection seats, the defense ministry informed.

According to Colonel Vesa Mäntylä, the head of the Finnish Air Force Academy, the accident took place during a five-plane air combat exercise, during which the lost jet was in a “combat training drill with another jet.”

The Colonel added that the pilots noticed an abnormal vibration in the cockpit before issuing an emergency message. Shortly thereafter, they ejected at an altitude of less than 500 meters.

The Finnish Air Force has been operating the BAE Systems-built Hawk jet since the 1980s after making history in 1977 as the inaugural international buyer with a 50-airframe order.

Within the Finnish Air Force, Hawks are assigned to Fighter Squadron 41 at the Air Force Academy and primarily utilized for advanced and tactical flight training purposes for pilots.