Engine failure was the likely cause of the F-16 crash at a NATO training base in Albacete, which killed 11 airmen, including two Greeks.
French air chief General Denis Mercier said on Thursday the fault occurred as the aircraft, piloted by two Greeks, was taking off.
“What we know is that the F-16 crew, fairly quickly, right after the takeoff, tried to eject,” he said.
This is confirmed by the Hellenic Air Force, which has sent a team to the Los Llanos base to report on the causes of the crash.
The fighter jet flown by Panagiotis Laskaris, 35, and Athanasios Zangas, 31, crashed into other aircraft that were preparing to fly.
The other nine personnel killed were French.
“It was completely bad luck,” said Mercier.
“A few more meters and it would have been a different outcome.”