Australian air force jet drops dummy missile on car

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The Independent Online

Tony Travers heard a big bang, called the police and made himself a sausage sandwich. Then he walked outside and discovered a dummy missile had destroyed a lovingly restored four-wheel drive utility vehicle.

Tony Travers heard a big bang, called the police and made himself a sausage sandwich. Then he walked outside and discovered a dummy missile had destroyed a lovingly restored four-wheel drive utility vehicle.

A Royal Australian Air Force jet returning from military maneuvers accidentally dropped the 130 kilogram (286 pound) fiberglass fake over the northern city of Darwin, destroying the car but injuring no one, police said Friday.

"It was like a huge thunderclap," Travers told Australian Broadcasting Corp. Radio.

"I rang the police and the RAAF ... and then made my sausage sanger (sandwich). Then I went outside and had a look around and they eventually rang back and said they had lost a missile."

Travers said the vehicle destroyed by the missile was a 1970s Toyota Landcruiser a colleague had spend years restoring.

"It was being restored but it's a bit past that stage now," he said.

The RAAF said it would pay the car's owner, Basil Roe, for the damage.

The two-meter long, "simulated training device" dislodged from an FA-18 Hornet during annual joint Operation Pitch Black, a multinational air defense exercise involving British and Singaporean troops.

Pitch Black exercise commander Air Commodore Dave Dunlop said the incident, which occurred as the aircraft was making a landing approach to RAAF Base Darwin on Thursday night, was being investigated.

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