Second air force crash in 2 days, pilots safe

After the aging bomber that went down in the Peloponnese during a training flight on Wednesday, the air force lost a second jet yesterday, this time a state-of-the-art Mirage 2000 fighter. In both cases, the pilots ejected safely. Although the air force gave no official explanation for yesterday’s crash near the Kalogeri islets in the central Aegean, sources said engine failure was suspected. The two fighter pilots, Kyriakos Dimitroulas and Ioannis Hadzoudis, were picked up from the sea within half an hour of the accident by an air force rescue helicopter. The French-made Mirage 2000 had taken off from Tanagra airport on a training flight, and crashed at 11.45 a.m. On Wednesday, a suspected fuel feed problem caused a single-seater A7 Corsair to crash near the Andravida base in the northwestern Peloponnese. Forty air force officers have died in 56 major accidents since 1991.