When the Brazilian air force took its turn in leading a monthly ceremony to raise a 600kg (1,320lb) flag in Brasilia's Three Powers Plaza on 1 July, a flypast seemed like a good idea.

But video footage of the event released on the internet shows what happened when a pair of Dassault Mirage 2000C fighters from the service's Anapolis air base executed two low-level passes of the site, which is ringed by the National Congress, the Palácio do Planalto - the seat of the Brazilian government, and Supreme Federal Court buildings.

Making a first pass at an estimated 590kt (1,090km/h), the aircraft shattered window panes along the front of the Supreme Court building, sending onlookers scurrying for cover. The pair then returned to make a perpendicular pass, during which roughly 65 window panes along the northern face of the National Congress tower were smashed, along with similar damage to the Palácio do Planalto.

The pilot of the lead Mirage has been suspended from flight duties following an investigation, and according to existing air force regulations is liable for the damage, which has been estimated at more than $62,000.

Source: Flight International