Emergency landing for Eurofighter at Innsbruck
One of Austria’s troubled Eurofighter jets has had to make an emergency landing at Innsbruck airport.
According to information from the Ministry of Defence the pilot received a warning the engine was on fire, although no smoke was visible.
Police said that shortly after 2.30 pm two loud explosions were heard in Innsbruck. Firefighters and police received numerous calls from people concerned about the noise and the fire brigade went to a reported explosion in the Innstrasse but found it was a false alarm.
It is now thought the sounds came from the Eurofighter.
This comes after a manufacturing fault was discovered in Austria’s 15 jets after Germany announced that a defect had been discovered in the rear fuselage of the twin-engine multirole fighter and it was suspending deliveries of the jets.
However, Austria’s Ministry of Defence said on Wednesday that the jets’ safety was not compromised and that they are still operational.
The oldest of Austria’s Eurofighters, purchased in 2003, has only flown a total of 500 hours - or 45 hours a year - according to new information from the army on Thursday.
The Krone newspaper reports that the jets sit in their hangar gathering dust for an average 361 days every year.
The warplanes cost €2 billion and the deal for their purchase was made by the previous centre-right government.
The Eurofighter is built by a consortium comprising European airplane maker Airbus, Britain's BAE Systems and Finmeccanica of Italy.