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Search continues for F-4 Phantom pilot

Search continues for F-4 Phantom pilot


The search for the body of the squadron commander Statis Tsitlakidis the commander of an F-4 Phantom II of the 338th Squadron, 117th Fighter Wing, which crashed at sea, south of Andravida Airport, have so far remained inconclusive.

According to the local website ilialive.gr, the search operation continues not only by floating and air assets, but also by foot groups conducting reconnaissance of the coast. The search area runs along the coastline from Katakolo to Giannitsohori.

Today, the head of ΓΕΕΘΑ, General Konstantinos Floros, and the head of ΓΕΕΑ, Vice Admiral Themistocles Burolias visited the family of Marios Turoutsikas in Tripoli to express their condolences.

In an interview with the MEGA TV channel, the lieutenant’s father said that “it was the last blow” for his family

“He was a very, very reserved, very methodical child, and we will not be able to withstand this blow. And most importantly, he did not kill himself, there was another at the helm. I do not want to say that it was the fault of the first pilot. As a father, I “I don’t know how I look at it. My child was co-pilot that day. And he was killed. It was not in his power, he could not do anything about it, because he was an accomplished pilot, he did not do extreme things, I knew this from other colleagues. If he had flown on his own, he might have survived.”

The particular flight was not routine, pilot and accident expert Mr. Pantelis Frangulis said on the air of the state channel, explaining that “flights at low altitude follow the terrain.”

In Katakolo, where the wreckage of the fighter was thrown yesterday, a small underwater robot was transported, which searches at a depth of up to 100 meters at the bottom of the sea. Also operating in the area are two divers from the 206th Air Infrastructure Wing’s Mobile Submarine and Offshore Maintenance Unit (MOSIF) and three divers from the 31st Search and Rescue Squadron. Divers work on a Coast Guard lifeboat assisted by an underwater robot. In addition to the C-70 Navy helicopter and Super Puma, which also operate in the evening hours, an Agusta Bell helicopter joined the search yesterday. Since early Tuesday morning, weather conditions have worsened in Cypress Bay, with strong NW winds of 5-6 Beaufort, seas over 1 meter and rain.

Chronicle of the accident F-4 Phantom

Two F-4 Fantom   took off on Monday at 10:15. Pilots of the fatal “Phantom” worked out a training scenario, performing a “small cruising” flight at an altitude of 100 meters, paired with a second aircraft of the same type.

F-4 Phantom II tail number 507 (considered one of the oldest aircraft in service with the Greek Navy) crashed in the Gulf of Kyparissia under unclear circumstances, only 8 nautical miles from the coast and 25 from the Andravida air base.

“When you fly low at high speeds and maneuver, with turns and high g-forces, at any moment there is a possibility of an accident, or there may be other factors,” defense analyst Konstantinos Yatridis told the state channel.

The aircraft is over 50 years old…

The date of receipt of a specific aircraft is not specified, according to ERT, but according to the ilialive website, it was one of the first six received by the Greek Air Force in 1974, and belonged to the 338th squadron of the 117th Andravida Fighter Wing. According to the same data, the aircraft under tail number 506 was modernized in 2000…

The Hellenic Air Force has two squadrons that are fully equipped with F-4E Phantom II aircraft. They have been used since 1974 as all-weather fighter-bombers. In 1997-2005, 36 aircraft of this model were upgraded. Then they received the new designation F-4E AUP and remained in service with the Greek Air Force until at least 2020.

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