- The Swiss Air Force’s aerobatic jet team performed a fly-by over the wrong rural town on Saturday, after getting confused where they were.
- The Patrouille Suisse, a formation of six red and white F-5E Tiger II jets, were due to pass the town of Langenbruck to mark 100 years since the death of aviation pioneer Oskar Bider.
- Instead they swooped down over Mümliswil, four miles away, where a Yodeling festival was in full swing.
- The navigator mistook a tent used to host the festival as the site of Bider’s commemoration, and was also confused by a helicopter hovering nearby, The Swiss Defense Ministry said.
- The Patrouille Suisse are the equivalent of the US’ Air Force Thunderbirds, or Britain’s Red Arrows.
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The Swiss Air Force’s aerobatic jet team conducted an elaborate fly-by over the wrong town on Saturday, after getting confused about where they were.
Six red and white F-5E Tiger II jets were due to swoop over the town of Langenbruck to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the death of former resident Oskar Bider, a Swiss aviation pioneer who was the first person to cross the Alps by plane.
Instead, they flew directly over Mümliswil, four miles away over the hills of the Thal national park in Switzerland’s northerly Basel-Landschaft canton.
Swiss army spokesman Daniel Reist confirmed the error occurred, citing "unfortunate circumstances," to the Swiss newspaper 20 Minuten on Sunday.
As the jets passed over, revelers in Mümliswil were watching performers at the 31st edition of the Northwestern Swiss Yodeling Festival.
Patrons of the yodeling festival, although surprised, thoroughly enjoyed the fly-by, according to German media.
The squadron’s navigator mistook a tent used to host the festival as the site of Bider’s commemoration, and were then further confused by an unauthorized helicopter hovering in the area, The Swiss Defense Ministry told The Associated Press.
The Swiss Army spokesman told 20 Minuten the jets weren’t equipped with GPS devices, and instead used "map, felt-tip pen, and sight."
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