Air force pilot dies during training exercise


A parachute is seen on a wooded hillside near Sparta in the Peloponnese Tuesday, after a 39-year-old Hellenic Air Force pilot was killed when his plane crashed. The body of Squadron Leader Nikolaos Vassiliou, a father of two, was found shortly after the incident by rescuers. The Hellenic Air Force General Staff said the two-seat T-2 Buckeye was 7 nautical miles north of Sparta, in the middle of a training exercise, when it went down at 8.50 a.m. It declared three days of national mourning. Vassiliou’s copilot was unharmed after parachuting to safety. An investigation has been launched. [Eurokinissi]