A Hellenic Air Force F-16 fighter plane went down and crashed on the uninhabited islet of Psathoura, in the west-central Aegean, on Wednesday afternoon. The pilot of the aircraft successfully activated his ejection seat and was picked up from the water unharmed but after spending roughly an hour and a half in the water, according to later reports.

The cause for the crash remains unknown.

Reports state that a squadron consisting of four aircraft that took off from the 110th Combat Wing in Larissa for a training exercise.

The pilot was transported to the island of Lemnos, where an air force base is located, for medical checks.

The Hellenic Air Force issued the following statement on the Incident:

“On Wednesday, March 20, 2024, at 13:29, a single-seat F-16 Block 52+ aircraft of the 337 Squadron, part of the 110th Combat Wing (CW), crashed into the sea area of Psathoura during a training flight. A search and rescue operation for the pilot is currently underway. In the area, one Super Puma helicopter from the 130th Combat Wing, one S-70 helicopter from the Hellenic Navy, and one CL-415 from the 113th CW are responding. The frigate Aegean is being directed to the area, while one C-130 is on maximum readiness.”

Greek, Turkish DMs discuss incident

In a related development, Greek Defense Minister Nikos Dendias later took to his X (formerly Twitter) account to reveal that his spoke by phone with his Turkish counterpart, Yaşar Güler, over the incident, saying that the latter expressed satisfaction that the pilot was alive and well.