An American designed F-104 Starfighter jet crashed near Wittmundhafen in West Germany on wednesday (8 March) during a low-level flight.
An American designed F-104 Starfighter jet crashed near Wittmundhafen in West Germany on wednesday (8 March) during a low-level flight. This is the 150th Starfighter the West German Air Force have lost since their introduction in 1960 under a North Atlantic Treaty agreement. The pilot ejected safely.
The continued crash rate of the Starfighter contributed to a leadership crises in the West German armed forces in 1966, when three top generals resigned, including the general commanding the Air Force.
At the end of last year the West German Federal Audit Board published a highly critical report of the procurement of the Starfighter -- built in West Germany by the Messerschmitt Company -- saying that the addition of a not wholly developed aircraft had had an adverse effaced on military preparedness for years.
By 1969, 54 pilots had lost their lives. The 700 Starfighters -- at present forming the main strike capability of the Luftwaffe -- are soon due to be replaced by a multi-role combat aircraft being developed jointly be West Germany, Britain and Italy.