A little after noon yesterday a Hellenic Air Force Mirage 2000 lost power and crashed in the sea 24km south of Skopelos. The 28 year old pilot ejected from the falling aircraft and parachuted into the sea where he was rescued. The rescue was carried out by a team by helicopters flying from Limnos and Chios. The pilot was scooped from the sea and taken to the military hospital in Athens. He suffered a dislocated shoulder.
The flight was one of two jets flying an practice exercise from the Tanagra base near Halkida. The Navy’s marine recovery team will attempt to raise the wreck.
The crash raised again the question of the aging Hellenic Air Force fleet. Within the NATO alliance Greece’s per capita military expenditure is second only to that of the USA. Why does poor Greece rank ahead of wealthier European countries and where does all that money go?
Hint: to the wealthier countries (sigh).