Swiss Air Force F-5E Tigers should see the end of their careers in 2016, but now the Swiss see themselves confronted with a major repair job on their remaining F-5s. Crack were found in structural parts on two aircraft, forcing a restriction on flying. The first Northrop F-5s came into Swiss service in 1976.
Update 18 January 2015: several Patrouille Suisse F-5E Tigers were seen flying today during a fly pass over the Ski World Cup in Wengen, Switzerland. Two of the aircraft taking part were in standard grey colours however, so presumably two Patrouille Suisse aircraft grounded for inspection. See pic below
A number of aircraft has already been inspected, but 13 aircraft remain unchecked and therefore grounded. Each inspection takes two weeks, and all repair work is expected to be concluded in Q2 of 2015. Eighteen F-5E single-seaters and a number of F-5F two-seaters will not be inspected, as they are not in use anymore.
The Swiss Air Force says all tasks – including air patrol missions during the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos – will be performed by Boeing F/A-18 Hornets. The cracks in the Tigers however do mean that the Swiss air demonstration team Patrouille Suisse is temporarily unable to perform. The team uses six F-5E Tigers.
© 2015 Airheadsfly.com editor Elmer van Hest