A Hellenic Air Force McDonnell Douglas F-4E Phantom II fighter jet crashed under unknown circumstances in the sea off Andravida. The fate of the pilots is unknown.
A statement from the Hellenic Air Force General Staff said the accident occurred at 10.30 a.m. 25 nautical miles south of the Andravida air base, in northwestern Peloponnese.
The status of the pilots is not known and a search and rescue operation is underway.
Two Hellenic Air Force AB-205 helicopters, one Hellenic Navy S-70 helicopter, and several Coast Guard vessels are taking part in the operation. A C-130 military transport plane is on standby
It is a two-seater aircraft of the 338M/117PM, which was performing a training flight and was accompanied by another Phantom.
The official announcement of the General Air Staff is as follows:
“On Monday, January 30, 2023, at 10:30, an F-4 aircraft (two-seater) of 338M/117PM that was performing a training flight crashed in the sea area 25 nautical miles south of Andravida air base.”
Andravida air base is a military airport operated by the Hellenic Air Force, located 2.5 kilometers from the town of Andravida in Elis, Greece, housing the 117th Combat Wing, and the Air Force’s Air Tactics Center.
The McDonnell Douglas F-4 Phantom is an American tandem two-seat, twin-engine, all-weather, long-range supersonic jet interceptor and fighter bomber originally developed by McDonnell Aircraft for the United States Navy.
Proving highly adaptable, it entered service with the Navy in 1961 before it was adopted by the United States Marine Corps and the United States Air Force, and by the mid-1960s it had become a major part of their air arms.
Phantom production ran from 1958 to 1981 with a total of 5,195 aircraft built, making it the most-produced American supersonic military aircraft in history, and cementing its position as an iconic combat aircraft of the Cold War.
It is reported that the crew did not eject. Both pilots died in the crash.