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2 Greek F-16s collide in mid-air

August 26, 2010 (by Jason) - Two Greek F-16s have collided in mid-air off the South Western coast of Crete, near the island of Chryssi on Thursday. One pilot was killed.

The F-16s involved were a single-seater F-16C (#522) and one F-16D block 52 double-seater (#604) from 340 Mira had been part of a formation of six planes on a training mission when they collided.

The crew of the double-seater Captain Iosif Anastasakis, 35, and Lieutenant Paulos Botzakis, 25 managed to eject and were recovered by a local fishing boat. Captain Anastasakis was seriously injured.

Unfortunately, the body of the third pilot Captain Anastasios Balatsoukas, 33, was recovered from the sea more than two hours after the crash.

Eyewitness on the island of Chryssi reported a huge flash in the sky, the pilots rocketing from there airplanes and the jets falling into the sea. According to local new agencies the jets were partaking in dog fighting exercises when the accident occurred.

Additional images:

HAF F-16D block 52 #604 from 340 Mira is seen taxiing at Souda AB on September 8th, 2008. [Photo by Chris Lofting]

HAF F-16C block 52 #522 from 340 Mira is seen landing at Souda AB on September 9th, 2008 equipped with conformal fuel tanks. [Photo by Chris Lofting]