Saudi Air Force jet crashes after bird-hit

Thursday, December 22, 2011

A Saudi Air Force Hawk jet trainer crashed on Tuesday after a bird strike on its engine, the Saudi Defence Ministry said in a statement cited by the SPA news agency, adding that the pilot ejected safely. General Ibrahim al-Malek told AFP the accident took place in the northwest of the kingdom in the Tabuk area during a training mission.State TV said the British-made BAE Hawk jet crashed Tuesday morning from a technical problem during a routine training flight, though the exact cause is not yet known. It says the pilot bailed out and was uninjured after he managed to direct it to crash in an uninhabited area in northern Tabuk province. In May, a US-made F-15 fighter jet crashed in the kingdom eastern region in an evening routine training flight. Saudi Arabia announced last fall a $60 billion deal to buy 84 new F-15 fighter jets.