World

Loose papers may have caused F-16 crash that killed 11 in Spain

  • FILE - A Monday, Jan. 26, 2015 file photo showing smoke rising from a military base after a Greek F-16 fighter jet plane crash in Albacete, Spain. Loose papers left in the cockpit of an F-16 that crashed at a Spanish airbase could have sent the fighter jet into its deadly spiral, French investigators have concluded. The report released this week brings an end to a multinational investigation into what happened before the Greek plane's failed takeoff and crash.  (AP Photo/Josema Moreno, File)

    FILE - A Monday, Jan. 26, 2015 file photo showing smoke rising from a military base after a Greek F-16 fighter jet plane crash in Albacete, Spain. Loose papers left in the cockpit of an F-16 that crashed at a Spanish airbase could have sent the fighter jet into its deadly spiral, French investigators have concluded. The report released this week brings an end to a multinational investigation into what happened before the Greek plane's failed takeoff and crash. (AP Photo/Josema Moreno, File)  (The Associated Press)

  • FILE - A Tuesday, Jan. 27, 2015 file photo showing investigators working around the wreckage of planes the day after a Greek F-16 jet crashed at Albacete airbase, Spain. Loose papers left in the cockpit of an F-16 that crashed at a Spanish airbase could have sent the fighter jet into its deadly spiral, French investigators have concluded. The report released this week brings an end to a multinational investigation into what happened before the Greek plane's failed takeoff and crash.  (AP Photo/Daniel Ochoa de Olza)

    FILE - A Tuesday, Jan. 27, 2015 file photo showing investigators working around the wreckage of planes the day after a Greek F-16 jet crashed at Albacete airbase, Spain. Loose papers left in the cockpit of an F-16 that crashed at a Spanish airbase could have sent the fighter jet into its deadly spiral, French investigators have concluded. The report released this week brings an end to a multinational investigation into what happened before the Greek plane's failed takeoff and crash. (AP Photo/Daniel Ochoa de Olza)  (The Associated Press)

French military investigators say loose papers left in an F-16 that crashed at a Spanish airbase could have sent the fighter jet into its deadly spiral.

A report released this week concludes a multinational investigation into what happened before the Greek plane's failed takeoff and crash in Albacete, Spain, on Jan. 26. The French military report found that papers left in the cabin, perhaps a checklist, likely shuffled shortly before takeoff, causing an "accidental modification" of the position of rudder controls that stabilize vertical motion.

Both pilots and nine French servicemen on the ground died, and 21 people on the ground were injured, in what NATO called the worst crash during a NATO exercise in recent memory. The report emphasized that no country or individual could be held responsible.