Spanish EF-18 Hornet Crashes During Airshow Practice Flight

A Spanish Air Force pilot was taken to hospital with injuries after ejecting from his EF-18 Hornet before a crash at Zaragoza Air Base.

Video shows the EF-18 in a steep climb before pitching over, then after a brief moment of level flight, careening nose down into the ground. You can also hear a sharp throttle adjustment during the pitch-over maneuver. The pilot ejects just before the jet impacts the ground, resulting in a huge fireball. Citing Spain’s Civil Guard, the Associated Press reported the pilot suffered leg injuries from the low-altitude ejection.

Spanish news agency EFE reported the EF-18 was practicing for an airshow when the crash occurred. In a tweet, the Spanish Air and Space Force confirmed the EF-18 was one of the 15th Wing’s jets, which operates multiple squadrons of Hornets at Zaragoza. Spain is in the process of replacing its Hornet fleet, designated “EF-18” for “España,” with Eurofighter Typhoons, although the type will serve into the end of the decade before that process is completed.

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