Stay neutral, Switzerland: Air Force aerobatic team performs flyover at wrong venue
In an incident that would make one glad that they’re not dropping bombs, the Swiss Air Force’s “Patrouille Suisse” aerobatic display team missed their target by about six kilometers when trying to perform a flyover on Saturday.
The squadron was scheduled to fly over Langenbruck, in northwestern Switzerland, as part of a ceremony marking the 100th anniversary of the death of Swiss aviation pioneer Oskar Bider. Unfortunately, the jets veered dramatically off course and made their display over the nearby town of Mümliswil-Ramiswil instead.
A spokesperson for the air force attributed the mistake to “unfortunate circumstances” but the Le Matin news outlet is reporting that, during the approach to Langenbruck, the team leader spotted a large festival tent and steered the team in that direction. Unfortunately it wasn’t part of the anniversary commemorations it was northwestern Switzerland’s 31st yodeling festival. Hopefully the yodeling wasn’t drowned out by the sound of jet engines and the festival’s attendees enjoyed the unexpected extra display.
While the mishap might make one think that it’s for the best that Switzerland maintains its neutrality policy, the air force spokesperson isn’t overly concerned. He told Le Matin that the F-5E Tiger jets flown by the team are not equipped with GPS or other modern technologies so they are obsolete in modern warfare. Navigation is done the old fashioned way, with a map, a compass and by looking out the window.
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