A Swiss army fighter jet went missing over the Alps Monday and is believed to have crashed, the defence ministry said, adding that a large-scale search and rescue operation had been launched.
The F/A-18 C single-seater had been taking part in a training exercise with a second plane when all radio contact with the pilot was suddenly cut at 4:05 pm (1405 GMT), the ministry said in a statement.
“Since then, he has been declared missing,” it said.
The suspected crash site is in the region around the Susten Pass in the center of the mountainous state, and is very hard to access, the ministry said.
As night fell, although two choppers had taken part in the search and weather conditions worsened they were compelled to land.
The ministry said they’d resume their flights just as the weather allowed, and that in the meantime, two ground crews of mountaineering specialists and rescue workers were continuing the search.
“The military command’s thoughts are with the pilot’s family,” it said, adding that an investigation had been launched.
The suspected accident would be the latest in a string of crashes.
In the Netherlands, two Swiss Tiger F-5E fighter jets show in June in June.
One of the aircraft crashed and burst into flames, but the pilot ejected to safety.
No one was hurt on the ground after ejecting from the airplane and the pilot was only slightly injured.
The last fatal fighter jet crash in Switzerland happened in 2013, when a Swiss F/A-18 two-seater slammed into a mountainside in the centre of the country.
The pilot and his passenger, an air force physician taking part in a training exercise, were both killed.
Following the injuries, only 30 of Switzerland’s initial fleet of 34 F/A-18s remain, the ATS news agency reported.