Losses and Aviation Safety

Rafale fighter jet cuts power line during training mission, Villagers in southern France are left without electricity for three hours.

The incident saw residents of Le Castellet, a small village in the Alpes-de-Haute-Provence region, deprived of power for around three hours after the fly-by from the Rafale.

Taken on Feb. 17, 2021 the photo in this post features a French Air Force Rafale fighter jet after it sliced through a power line in the south of France during a low-altitude training mission.

As reported by Global Village Space, the incident took place on Feb. 17, 2021 and saw residents of Le Castellet, a small village in the Alpes-de-Haute-Provence region, deprived of power for around three hours after the fly-by from the Dassault-made jet.

“The crew were unharmed,” Air Force spokesman Stephane Spet told AFP on Feb. 18, adding that two Rafales were on a mission from Orange air base in the east of France.

The fighter jet “came so low that it made a hell of a noise,” Benoit Gouin, the major of Le Castellet told France Bleu local news.

He said he realized that it had gone under the electricity line and went to investigate, finding the two ends of the severed cable lying on the ground.

“I immediately called the emergency services and the team at Enedis,” he added, referring to the local power company.

French Air Force spokesman Spet said an investigation had been launched and added that such incidents were “very rare.”

Of a moderate size, yet extremely powerful, superbly agile and very discrete, the Rafale is the latest type of combat aircraft from Dassault Aviation and does not only integrate the largest and most modern range of sensors, but also multiplies their efficiency with a technological breakthrough, the “multi-sensor data fusion”.

The French Air Force single-seat Rafale C, the Air Force two-seat Rafale B, and the Navy single-seat Rafale M feature maximum airframe and equipment commonality, and very similar mission capabilities.

Photo credit: French Air Force and Bundesheer

Dario Leone

Dario Leone is an aviation, defense and military writer. He is the Founder and Editor of “The Aviation Geek Club” one of the world’s most read military aviation blogs. His writing has appeared in The National Interest and other news media. He has reported from Europe and flown Super Puma and Cougar helicopters with the Swiss Air Force.

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