Pictured: French air force pilot's initiation ordeal tied to fighter jet target

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A young French air force pilot who, in a cruel initiation prank by otherairmen, was hooded, trussed, and tied to a post used for target practice by fighter jets, has filed a formal complaint with the public prosecution services for “aggravated violence” and “deliberately endangering the life of others”. Mediapart reveals here photos and video of the disturbing events at an airbase in Corsica which, as Justine Brabant reports, further tarnish the image of the air force after prosecutors in February opened an investigation into allegations of “institutionalised” harassment at a major base in eastern France.

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In his legal complaint filed on May 5th against “person or persons unknown” for “aggravated violence” and “deliberately endangering the life of others”, a French air force pilot described how, on the day he began his new post at an airbase on the French Mediterranean island of Corsica, he was overpowered and his wrists, knees and ankles tied with adhesive tape and his head covered with a hood, before he was bundled into the back of a pickup truck and taken to a site used for air-to-ground target practice by fighters with live amunition.