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F-16 crash: Pilot ejects from fighter jet on runway of Andravida air base

An F-16 fighter jet of the Greek Air Force crashed in the military air base of Andravida in western Peloponnese on Thursday afternoon. The pilot successfully ejected from the plane before the crash and was in “good health,” preliminary reports from the scene said.

The accident occurred at 3:49 p.m. Thursday during the landing procedure at the Air Base of Andravida, the Hellenic Air Force General Staff said in a statement.

The plane was returning from a training exercise, when it reportedly crashed inside the military airport of the 117th Combat Wing in front of the air base staff.

The F-16 Block 52+ was a single seat fighter jet and had taken off from the 11th Combat Wing for training.

The reason for the crash is not known yet and is to be investigated by the relevant committee of the Greek Air Force.

The pilot has been transferred to a military hospital, the AF General Staff statement said without elaborating.

According to state broadcaster ERT, the pilot had attempted twice to land and he ejected from the plane that was already on the runway of the Andravida air base. There was low cloudiness and rain, the military affairs report of ERT said. He added that the pilot activated all relevant protocols in emergency situations.

Website onalert notes that referring to the accident, Pentagon officials see common features with the accident of an F-16 of the Greek Air Force at the Los Llanos air base in Albacete, Spain in 2015. During that accident, two Greek pilots and eight NATO soldiers lost their lives and another 21 people were injured as it occurred place inside the air base.

A day after the tragic accident the Greek General Staff had ordered the largest part of the F-16 Block 50 fleet “on the ground.”

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