Search and Rescue operation continued until the evening, but neither the body of the pilot nor the Mirage 2000-5 have been spotted. Some debris have been found, his helmet, a survival kit, a small boat as well as evidence that the 34-year-old pilot Giorgos Baltadoros is not alive, media report.
Locals who know the area estimate that the fighter jet lies 300 meter deep in the sea bottom.
Three hours after the crash, a member of the Greek Air Force reportedly visited the family in a suburb of Western Athens and announced his death. At the same time, Defense Minister, Panos Kammenos announced the pilot’s death on Twitter.
Around 5 o’ clock in the afternoon, also the Hellenic Air Force issued a statement saying the Mirage 2000-5 crashed into the sea at 12:15 noon 9 nautical miles North-East of Skyros fatally injuring Flight Lieutenant Giorgos Baltadoros.
Giorgos Baltadotos was serving at the 331 Combat wing in Tanagra air base in Attica. He was deployed to the air base on the Sporades island of Skyros last week and into stand-by status due to the increased Turkish provocations in the Aegean and the daily violations of FIR Athens.
Together with another Mirage 2000, Baltadoros had completed an interception mission against Turkish fighter jets and the two aircraft were returning to the island air base. The aircraft were up to two minutes before touching the ground, when the fatal accident happened.
According to media, it was his last mission before being deployed back to Tanagra.
He had 940 flight hours.
He leaves behind a wife and two children 6 and 8 years old.
The Mirage was relative new with 800 flight hours. The scenarios speak of either a mechanical failure or a vertigo after a dangerous maneuver.
The Hellenic Air Force has set up a committee to investigate the causes of the crash.
The Greek Air Force has declared a 3-day mourning.
More details here in Mirage 2000 crashes off Skyros, pilot missing