Greek Air Force pilot, 39, killed in free-fall exercise
ATHENS, Greece (AP) — Greece’s Air Force has declared three days of national mourning after a pilot was killed during a free-fall exercise in southern Greece.
The Air Force said Squadron Leader Nikolaos Vassiliou, 39, was killed when his ?-2E Buckeye training jet crashed in a forest near the southern city of Sparta, 220 kilometers (135 miles) southwest of Athens.
Vassiliou’s co-pilot ejected safely and was unharmed, the Air Force said.
The T-2, a plane retired from service by the U.S. Navy in 2008, took off a base in the Kalamata, southern Greece. In the exercise, pilots practice regaining control of the aircraft after a free fall.