NEWS

Fighter jet crashes killing both pilots

An upgraded version of Greece’s elderly Phantom fighter jets crashed on Mount Parnassus during a training flight yesterday killing both pilots, the air force said. The wreckage of the modernized F-4E jet was located by a rescue helicopter around 4.45 p.m. near the Kelaria ski resort, some 170 kilometers (105 miles) west of Athens, 50 minutes after it disappeared from air force radar screens. The plane, flown by Constantinos Karathanos, 35, and Emmanouil Sevestakis, 27 – both found dead in the wreckage – had taken off from the Andravida base in the northwestern Peloponnese with another two F-4Es on a simulated interception mission. The cause of the crash was unclear. Since 1991, 42 air force pilots have died in training accidents. The plane was one of the air force’s 24 upgraded F-4Es. Under a 1997 deal, Greece will receive another 15 modernized versions of the jet it first acquired in 1974.