Remains of Greek Pilot Found off Skyros



The remains of Giorgos Baltadoros, the Greek pilot of the Mirage 2000-5 jet that crashed into the Aegean on Thursday, were found by a local fisherman off the coast of Skyros island on Friday.

The Mayor of Skyros, Miltos Hadjigiannakis, said that the remains were found next to debris from the jet.

On Thursday rescue crews recovered from the crash site the life jacket and the survival kit which is located in the cockpit.

According to reports, the jet is lying at a depth of 300 meters on the Aegean sea bed.

The Hellenic Air Force is conducting an investigation on why the state-of-the-art Mirage crashed into the sea.

The jet piloted by 34-year-old Baltadoros was one of two Mirages that departed from Skyros shortly after 11 a.m. to intercept a pair of Turkish F-16s that violated Greek air space in the area between the eastern Aegean islands of Lesvos and Chios.

However, when the Mirage pair arrived in the area the Turkish jets had already left and Baltadoros sent out a signal that the F-16s were beyond visual range.

On their return to Skyros, both jets were reportedly flying at a low altitude due to poor visibility on account of cloudy weather and the African dust in the atmosphere.

An alert was sounded after the pilot of the other Mirage said at 12.15 p.m. that he saw Baltadoros’s jet suddenly “dip,” 9 nautical miles northeast of Skyros.