Dutch F-16 mistakenly strafes range control tower. And it’s not the first time.

On Nov. 4, a Dutch F-16 strafed a control tower on Vlieland Island Vliehors shooting range by mistake. It was not the first time such incident occurred.

The plane was to attack a target located within the shooting range with its M61 Vulcan cannon but, in an unfortunate incident, the rounds hit a control tower, located 500 meters further. Fortunately the controllers in the tower were unharmed. The tower itself though did receive some damage.

The reason for the incident is unknown and a special commision will gather to investigate.

This is the second time that a friendly fire incident happened in Vliehors.

Back in 2001, a German Tornado did shoot at the control tower in very similar circumstances. Back in 1998, a Danish F-16 even sent a guided missile into the tower. Fortunately just one person was mildly injured.

No information on the RNlAF F-16 involved is available. The Dutch Vipers are stationed in Volkel and Leeuwarden bases. Since the latter one is undergoing some works, the local F-16s were relocated to the southern airbase.

Jacek Siminski for TheAviationist

Image Credit: Jerzy Siminski

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About Jacek Siminski 283 Articles
Standing contributor for TheAviationist. Aviation photojournalist. Co-Founder of DefensePhoto.com. Expert in linguistics, Cold War discourse, Cold War history and policy and media communications.

4 Comments

  1. There must be something attracting them to the towers. May be there is a sensor stationed at the target to ensure they do not miss the shooting range and similar sensor is stationed at the control tower. That must be the case. There is no other reason for all the planes to be targeting the tower while they have a different target to aim.

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