Mishaps like this don’t have to happen on the ground, either. In 2018, the pilot of a Spanish Air Force Eurofighter fighter jet accidentally fired one of his aircraft’s AIM-120 Advanced Medium-Range Air-to-Air Missiles (AMRAAM) during a NATO Air Policing patrol over Estonia.
It also recently emerged that the U.S. Air Force had to revise the rules and regulations regarding strafing training for its F-16 Vipers following a fatal accident in 2017. In that incident, a pilot accidentally identified a line of rental cars as a set of mock targets during a nighttime training sortie and engaged them with their Vulcan cannon, killing a contractor. The U.S. government subsequently paid nearly $25 million to the family of the late retired Master Sergeant Charles “Chuck” Holbrook after they won a lawsuit over his wrongful death.
Thankfully, so far, it appears that this accidental discharge of an Apache’s M230 cannon in the United Kingdom has not resulted in any damage, let alone injuries or fatalities.
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