Reports Suggest Debris May Have Been Located.
An Armée de l’Air Française (French Air Force) Mirage 2000D has gone down in the Alpine region of the western Joura mountains near the River Doubs. Search and rescue crews have responded to the emergency. The area is close to the French/Swiss border. The status of the two crewmen is unknown.
News reports from the search area show snowy conditions, French military vehicles on valley roads and search helicopters above snow-covered mountains.
#fildefense Dans la matinée du 9 janvier 2019, le contact radio/radar a été perdu avec un Mirage 2000 D de la @BA133_officiel
Les moyens de recherches et de secours ont été activés immédiatement pour retrouver l’appareil et son équipage pic.twitter.com/GKVIENFjFw
— Armée de l’air (@Armee_de_lair) January 9, 2019
According to French language media reports that were auto-translated from the L’Est Républicain news website:
“A Mirage 2000D fighter plane that took off from Nancy-Ochey airbase in Meurthe-et-Moselle disappeared from radar screens shortly after 11am in the Mignovillard sector, on the border between the Doubs and the Jura.
In the afternoon, first debris but also a parachute and a map were found on the heights of the village, at 1,050 meters altitude. The two soldiers who piloted the aircraft, a man and a woman, are currently untraceable.”
The two-man, single-engine, delta-wing Mirage 2000D is a ground attack aircraft first flown in 1986. The original Mirage 2000 variant first flew in 1978.
The most recent French media releases went on to say:
“The missing Mirage 2000D was performing a low-altitude operation, which did not require that we see the ground. The fog did not necessarily play a role in the accident.”
French defense officials reported that a parachute was found in trees in the area, but they could not determine if this was a crew parachute from an ejection seat or the braking parachute used during aircraft landings. They went on to add that no distress beacon has been detected in the area and no ejection seats located.