Charles Darwin Would Approve
Don’t bring a plane to a plane fight.
A mid-air collision between jousting Greek and Turkish fighters in disputed airspace over the Aegean Sea yesterday threatened to reignite age old rivalries.
The two planes are believed to have rammed each other, in full view of a passing commercial jetliner. The Turkish pilot, Halil Ozdemir, was rescued by a merchant ship after ejecting, but last night emergency services were still searching for the downed pilot of the Greek F-16 jet.
The Greek statement said the planes collided at 8,000 metres (27,000 ft) after the Turkish jets “violated air traffic rules”. Greek military officials said the Turkish plane caused the collision by a “sudden manoeuvre”.
Yesterday the Turkish military reiterated that the crash had been caused by a Greek fighter interfering in Turkish manoeuvres in international airspace.
“We see them up there fighting it out every day,” the mayor of Karpathos, Michalis Ioannides, told the Guardian. “At some point something like this was bound to happen,” he said, adding that the islanders had heard a “huge explosion” when the planes collided.
Followed by the soft chuckle of an elderly, bearded man.