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Home 37 years ago: when Brazilian Air Force F-5 jets 'bombed' the city of Minas Gerais, understand the case

37 years ago: when Brazilian Air Force F-5 jets 'bombed' the city of Minas Gerais, understand the case

24 April 2024 12 gies: 22
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37 years ago: when Brazilian Air Force F-5 jets 'bombed' the city of Minas Gerais, understand the case
Brazilian Air Force F-5 jet Photo: Disclosure/Aeroplane

An incident that occurred during Brazilian Air Force training with F-5 jets in 1987 involves the accidental fall of inert bombs over the city of Formiga, Minas Gerais, causing shock and material damage, but no injuries to residents.

In an event that seems more like a movie script than reality, the city of Formiga, Minas Gerais, was the scene of an incident extraordinary involving jets F-5 of the Brazilian Air Force. On Thursday, April 2, 1987, at around 11:30 am, the city's tranquility was shaken when two F-5 fighters flew low over the region, which is part of the pilots' training route.

The fighters, belonging to the 1st Fighter Aviation Group and based in Santa Cruz, Rio de Janeiro, were more than 540 kilometers away from their base, carrying out an air attack simulation exercise. During the maneuver, they should simulate an attack to a local bridge and then quickly leave the area. Equipped with training bombs, which are inert and filled with concrete, the pilots did not expect events to unfold.

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Two training bombs inadvertently detached from Brazilian Air Force F-5 jets, falling into the Exhibition Park

At around 11:45 am, the sound of something falling was followed by a deafening crash. Two training bombs inadvertently detached from the F-5 jets, falling into the air. Exibition Park and in a central square in Formiga. Fortunately, these bombs did not contain explosives, but the impact created craters seven meters deep and sent chunks of asphalt onto nearby homes, generating panic among residents.

The incident caused not only a local uproar, but also gained attention in international newspapers and news reports.

Bomb that fell in Formiga was exposed in a square built with compensation money paid by the FAB — Photo: Poder Aéreo/Disclosure

The incident caused not only a local uproar, but also gained attention in international newspapers and news reports. Initially, it was believed that the city was being attacked, leading to speculation and fear. The Brazilian Air Force, after investigations, attributed the incident to a mechanical failure that did not lock the bombs correctly.

Three months after the incident, the Air Force agreed to pay compensation to the city of Formiga, used to build Praça da Bomba, marking the exact location of one of the impacts. O artifact is exposed in the square, accompanied by a sign that narrates the event for visitors and tourists.

This peculiar incident with F-5 jets in Minas Gerais serves as a reminder of the surprises that life can bring and the stories that small towns, like Formiga, can tell.

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