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Planes crash and hook in midair in Germany; crew dies in fall


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The aerobatics training of an aeronautical squadron in the city of Gera, in Germany, ended in a tragic accident last Saturday (24), when two aircraft collided in the air, got hooked and ended up falling. The pilots, a 42-year-old and a 72-year-old, died at the time of the accident.

Three pilots took to the air at Leumnitz airfield to practice a routine aerobatics. Accustomed to the maneuvers, the group had already rehearsed the show hundreds of times, and, according to the Bild newspaper, the weather conditions were appropriate.

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A video recorded by spectators shows the execution of acrobatics and lows, until the moment when the aircraft collide.

The collision caused the planes to hook, without major immediate damage. From the images it is possible to see that, with the planes attached to each other, the pilots try to separate, but are unable to disengage the equipment, until inertia throws them in free fall against the ground.

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Andreas Spaeth, an aviation expert, told Bild that, until the moment of the collision, the pilots were practicing a common aerobatics. “Contrary to what was to be expected, no visible parts broke. It’s more like the two aircraft get stuck, unable to maneuver, and then hit the ground linked together.”

The final scene of the video shared on social media shows black smoke rising into the sky shortly after the planes hit the ground. Photos released later showed the wreckage still burning, in a field in the city of Gera.

Also heard by the German newspaper, air accident expert Norman Kretschmer explained the phenomenon. “When metal is under high pressure, it deforms. This deformation can be seen on the wing and indicates a strong collision.” The damage to the structure made it impossible for the pilots to launch or attempt an evasion maneuver.

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