NEWS

Turks find body after jet crash

The body of a Greek air force pilot whose plane crashed late on Wednesday during a training exercise in the Aegean Sea was found by a Turkish frigate, authorities said yesterday. The one-seater F-16 Block 52 jet had been participating in a nighttime training exercise when it crashed about 32 kilometers south of Mount Athos, northern Greece, the air force said in a statement. Greek military officials rebuffed accusations that Turkish authorities were better prepared to launch a search operation for the missing pilot by arguing the Turkish vessel was closer to the accident site. The frigate, responding to an emergency call, found the body of the 35-year-old pilot Flight Lieutenant Athanassios Batsaras and handed it over to the Greek military late on Wednesday. Air force officials ruled out mechanical failure as the cause of the accident and said it is likely to have been caused by pilot vertigo, or disorientation. Batsaras’s funeral is scheduled to take place today.