An F-18 combat jet belonging to the Spanish Air Force crashed on Tuesday morning at the Torrejón de Ardoz airbase (Madrid), an accident likely caused by engine failure. The pilot was killed on impact, said sources at the Defense Ministry. The pilot was Lieutenant Fernando Pérez Serrano, who was 26 years old from Murcia, in southeastern Spain.
The accident took place during takeoff. Rescue teams sent to the scene confirmed that the pilot was unable to eject from the cockpit in time.
“Aircraft has had an accident inside airbase. Do not hinder emergency services,” reads this tweet sent out by the airbase.
The Ministry of Defense pointed to “a loss of power” as the reason for the crash. Sources also added that the mechanics had warned that the engine of the F-18 made a strange noise.
Military sources said that the plane apparently crashed against a parapet located at the end of the runway, and barely managed to get any lift – just 50 meters – before crashing.
This is the second time in under a week that a Spanish military aircraft has crashed. On Thursday October 12, a pilot was killed when his plane crashed as he was returning to base after participating in a flyby as part of the National Day military parade.