Red Arrows in collision over Crete

first_imgTwo jets from the British Royal Air Force’s Red Arrows aerobatics team collided over the island of Crete in the southern Aegean during a training exercise last week, resulting in the injury of one of the pilots.It is believed the Hawk jets clipped their wings while attempting an aerial manoeuvre over Kastelli air force base, near the port of Hania. One pilot dislocated his shoulder after ejecting from his aircraft, which was seriously damaged when it crashed onto the runway, while the second pilot managed to land his plane safely, officials said.The remaining jets in the squadron landed safely at Iraklio Airport, some 35 kilometers from the Kastelli base.Speaking after the crash, Greek air force spokesman Dimitris Tsirogiannidis said, “The pilot parachuted under ideal conditions which is why he just dislocated a shoulder.“Our estimate is that the accident was caused by a mid-air collision and the pilot jumped from a height of 300 metres.“He has just been examined at a local hospital and we are on standby to transfer him to Athens if it is deemed necessary, but his condition is not serious.”A Greek police spokesman added the plane hit the ground inside the perimeter of the military airport and was “almost totally destroyed.”Different reasons were given for the collision: some suggested it was pilot error, others that it was mechanical.Dimitris Parasyris, the chief of police at Kastelli police station close to the airport, said he saw “black smoke billowing over the airport” after the crash.George Psyllakis, the chief of security police inside the airport, who was in charge of the crash site, said, “The British pilot reacted well and escaped unhurt, and nobody was hurt on the ground.” Facebook Twitter: @NeosKosmos Instagramlast_img read more