The recent spate of mishaps involving military aerobatic display teams has shown no sign of abating, with a pilot from the French air force’s Patrouille de France unit having ejected from his Dassault/Dornier AlphaJet trainer on 13 April.

The aircraft crashed near Plan-de-Dieu air base, which the air force says is used by the team for daily training activities, and its pilot was taken to hospital after sustaining injuries.

 Patrouille de France - Duncan Monk AirSpace
© Duncan Monk gallery on

The cause of the fault which led to the ejection has yet to be determined, the service says, but the aircraft was destroyed in the incident.

France’s display team is home based at Salon-de-Provence air base, and earlier this month hosted a high-profile visit by president Nicolas Sarkozy’s wife, Carla Bruni-Sarkozy (below).

 Patrouille de France - Sipa Press Rex Features
© Sipa Press/Rex Features

Fatal crashes have also recently affected display teams from the air forces of Brazil, Malaysia and New Zealand, plus the Indian navy.

The pilot from the UK Royal Air Force’s Red Arrows team also ejected from his BAE Systems Hawk T1 after a mid-air collision while the team was practicing in Crete on 23 March.

The Red Arrows has delayed the launch of its 2010 display season by over two weeks until at least 16 June, but cautions that “the team may have to be withdrawn from further events, pending readiness”.

Flt Lt Paul O’Grady has rejoined the team as a replacement for injured Flt Lt Mike Ling. To lead the formation’s Synchro Pair, O’Grady previously flew with the team between 2006 and 2008.