The Extra EA-330LC aerobatic aircraft of the French Air Force carried out a forced landing in a field after an apparent engine power loss.
The aircraft was operated by EPAA 20.300, EVAA. A rescue operation was immediately launched.
Captain Alexandre Orlowski, winner of the world aerobatics championship in 2015, was returning from an air display in the southwestern city of Biarritz when his Extra 300 jet ran into trouble over the rural Gers region, the Air Force said.
He quickly identified a field “which was the right size and had a slight slope and landed just as the plane was about to go down,” air force spokesman Colonel Stephane Spet told AFP.
Neither Orlowski nor the mechanic accompanying him were injured but there was damage to the landing gear of the plane, which is emblazoned in the blue, white, and red colors of France’s aerobatics team.
The Air and Space Gendarmerie is responsible for the investigation which is entrusted to the Accident Investigation Office for the safety of State aeronautics (BEA-é).
The Extra Flugzeugbau EA300 is a two-seat aerobatic monoplane capable of Unlimited category competition.
It was designed in 1987 by Walter Extra, a German aerobatic pilot, and built by Extra Flugzeugbau.