Monday 23 October 2017

French general 'used fighter jet to fly home'

A French air force Alpha Jet like the one reportedly used.
A French air force Alpha Jet like the one reportedly used.

Rory Mulholland

The acting head of the French air force is in the line of fire for allegedly borrowing a fighter jet at weekends to fly from his base in Bordeaux to his home in Provence.

General Richard Reboul reportedly used an Alpha Jet at least 10 times since last August but last weekend changed his mode of transport to a six-seater military plane, complete with pilot and a co-pilot.

The allegations were the first hint of scandal to hit France's new Defence Minister Florence Parly, who on Tuesday night ordered an investigation after the satirical weekly 'Le Canard Enchainé' broke the story.

That inquiry will run alongside an internal air force investigation launched last Friday, the day General Reboul allegedly took off from an air force training base at Bordeaux-Mérignac in the TBM-700 plane to fly to another military base at Salon-de-Provence, near Marseille.

The plane dropped him off, then flew the roughly 500km back to Bordeaux, before returning on Monday morning to pick him up and take him back home, said the weekly.

The French air force had been ordered to drastically limit the use of Alpha Jets, and other training aircraft due to funding cuts.

French media estimated the general's weekend getaways may have cost the air force, and French taxpayers, tens of thousands of euro over the past year.

Irish Independent

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