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Two Rafales crash over Mediterranean

Article published on the 2009-09-25 Latest update 2009-09-25 08:20 TU

The Rafale, built by French aeronautics constructer Dassault.(Photo: Reuters)

The Rafale, built by French aeronautics constructer Dassault.
(Photo: Reuters)

The French navy continues to search for a missing pilot after two Rafale fighter jets crashed over the Mediterranean late Thursday night. The cause of the crash is unknown, though it is thought to have been a mid-air collision, a navy spokesperson said.

The two jets were flying back to the aircraft carrier Charles de Gaulle after an unarmed test flight when they went down on Thursday.

One pilot was found by a search helicopter not long after the crash, and he advanced the theory of the mid-air collision as “most plausible”, the spokesperson reported.

Helicopters and planes have been flying around the crash area since early Friday morning in an attempt to recover the second pilot.

The French-built Rafale fighter jet is exclusively used by the French military at the moment. Earlier this month the French government annnounced that Brazil is to purchase 36 planes but the contract has yet to be signed.