A grave accident risking the lives of two airmen was narrowly averted when a Sri Lanka Air Force Kfir jet bounced out of the runway while taking off at Katunayake due to engine failure yesterday morning.
Four Israeli built Kfir jets were to leave on a special mission in the North yesterday morning from the Air Force airfield and the battle craft which met with the mishap was the third to take off.
The speeding jet could only proceed along half of the runway when it started sliding to a side of a large lawn surrounding the runway.
The pilot and co-pilot who immediately ejected themselves from the fast moving jet later landed on the ground by parachute without injuries. The jet had ploughed into the meadow and stopped.
According to an air force spokesman the reason for the disorder was believed to be engine failure.