Swiss say at least 1 dead in crash of fighter jet

AP News
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Posted: Oct 24, 2013 8:54 AM
Swiss say at least 1 dead in crash of fighter jet

GENEVA (AP) — Swiss military officials said Thursday that they expected to recover the body of one of the two-man crew from a crashed F/A-18 fighter jet by the end of the day.

The man's body, which has not yet been identified, and the flight data recorder have both been located but had not yet been recovered because of difficult access at the crash site in central Switzerland, the military said. The other crew member remains missing, and the military said there is little hope of finding him alive.

"The recovery will take place over the course of the day," the Swiss Federal Department of Defense said in a statement.

The Swiss Air Force's two-seater F/A-18 went down in poor weather Wednesday afternoon near a military airport in Alpnachstad in the Lake Lucerne region.

Military officials said it crashed into a cliff during a training mission. The crew had taken off from Meiringen air base in Bern canton (state) to practice air policing and aerial combat with a one-seater F/A-18, whose pilot returned safely to the base after the other jet crashed.

It is the second crash in 15 years involving one of the 34 American F/A-18s that the Swiss purchased in the late 1990s to form the backbone of its air power. Two died and several others were injured in the first crash in 1998.