Air Force chief visits Mirage pilot in hospital

Chief of the Hellenic Tactical Air Force (HTAF), Lieutenant General Christos Christodoulou, visited the Mirage 2000 fighter jet who crashed into the sea on Monday, about 15 miles south of the Sporades island group near Skopelos.

The pilot, who is undergoing medical examinations for precautionary reasons at the 251 Air Force General Hospital, is well I his health, it was announced.

Sources said the accident occurred during a training exercise, when the plane presented a mechanical fault. The aircraft’s pilot managed to bail out of the aircraft safely and was collected unharmed by an Air Force Super Puma helicopter that transported him at the hospital. An expert inquiry into the causes of the incident has been launched.

The Mobile Underwater Marine Facilities Maintenance Team is mulling the possibility of retrieving parts of the aircraft from the sea area south of Sporades to support the work of the expert inquiry investigating the circumstances and causes of the incident.

The Underwater Team has assisted in the past in retrieval operations, such as that of RAF Bristol
Blenheim in Rethymno, the JUNKERS – 52/3m in Leros and the JU-87 STUKA in Rhodes.

The Mirage 2000 belonged to the 332nd Squadron and had taken off from the Tanagra air base with another aircraft of the same type in order to carry out an aerial battle exercise.