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Air Force jets in mid-air close call during training exercise

There were no injuries after the two fighters grazed each other while flying at close range.

Taitolentoryhmä Midnight Hawks lentonäytöksessä.
File photo of the Finnish Air Force's Midnight Hawks during an air show. Image: Petteri Bülow / Yle

Two Finnish Air Force Hawk training jets grazed each other mid-air during a training exercise on Friday. Both planes landed safely without any injuries, the Air Force said in a statement.

During the exercise, the two planes were flying in the same direction at the same speed while at close range to each other, according to the Air Force. The incident occurred near the training base at Tikkakoski in Central Finland

A preliminary assessment found that the only damage to the planes was seen in scratches on the wings' paint, where the aircraft briefly touched.

A similar incident occurred in August 2013 when two Hawk jets crashed near the town of Kauhava in western Finland, which resulted in the death of one pilot.

The Air Force Academy's Deputy Head of Training, lieutenant colonel Kai Naumanen, told tabloid Iltalehti that such mid-air contacts between two aircraft are very rare.

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