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Fallen military pilot honoured in Payerne funeral

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Fallen military pilot honoured in Payerne funeral
File photo: Fabrice Coffrini/AFP
11:35 CEST+02:00
The pilot of a Swiss fighter jet that crashed in the mountains at the end of August was laid to rest on Monday in Payerne.

The family, friends and colleagues of the 27-year-old were present at Payerne church in the canton of Vaud for the funeral of the pilot whose body was found in the wreckage of his F/A-18 after it crashed near the Susten pass.

After the funeral, two F/A-18 jets conducted a fly pass in his honour in the skies above the airbase he was attached to.

One jet flew straight ahead and another headed up towards the sky, as per the international tradition for fallen pilots, said news agencies.

Army spokesman Daniel Reist said the church was full for a “dignified and very moving” ceremony which was also attended by military commanders including air force commander in chief Aldo Schellenberg.

The military jet went missing on August 29th shortly after taking off on a training exercise.

The wreckage of the plane was found a day later in a remote, mountainous area at around 3,300m altitude.

Following speculation in the media, investigators looking into the crash revealed that the pilot had been told by flight controllers at the Meiringen base to fly at an altitude lower than the minimum safety level.

Skyguide, which controls airspace on behalf of the military, has opened an internal investigation.

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