Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Swedish combat jets grounded by high pressure

About a dozen Gripen fighter jets were barred from taking part in a Nordic air exercise Tuesday because of an abnormally strong high pressure system.

It's not that it's unsafe to fly, base commander Mats Hakkarainen said, but the pressure is so extreme the planes' instruments are getting confused and issuing error signals.

The atmospheric pressure in northern Sweden reached a 40-year high on Sunday, the national weather agency said.

The Gripen can fly in all kinds of weather, but "the value is so extreme" that flight instruments treat it as an error, said Peter Liander, a spokesman for Gripen maker Saab.

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