Greece and its Air Force during the period 1990 – 2018 has mourned the loss of 125 soldiers on duty and 81 aircraft have crashed for various reasons.
Specifically, fourteen F – 4s, thirteen Mirage 2000s, such as the one that fell yesterday, thirteen 13 A-7 Corsair, twelve F – 16 of different categories, six F – 1 and two C 130.
It is noted that half of the 125 dead lost their lives from the fall of C 130 on Mount Othris.
Two dead in air battles
Officially, however, only two aircraft have crashed during virtual air battles with Turkish. In 1992, Subcommander Nikos Sialmas lost his life in the area of Ai Strati when the old Mirage F-1 he was operating could not withstand during the confrontation with Turkish F-16s and was nailed to the sea. In 2006, squadron leader Costas Iliakis lost his life in the area of Karpathos when a Turkish F-16 was nailed to the hood of his aircraft, killing him instantly. However, Turkish journalists, according to an investigation by the Sputnic agency, report that Iliakis flew his plane over the Turkish one, knowing that both planes would be destroyed. The Turkish pilot, however, managed to escape after being thrown from his cockpit and crashed into the sea with a parachute.
According to the research of the Sputnic agency, it is not uncommon for Greek planes to violate Turkish airspace by chasing Turkish planes over Turkish territory.
According to the report, however, only in 2015 there were 1375 violations of Greek airspace by Turkish fighters, of which 135 were carried out with planes loaded and ready for a normal battle. It is estimated that since 1996 there are 1000 violations per year with the air battles over the Aegean being a spectacle for the inhabitants of the islands and millions of tourists.
In October 1996, eight months after the Imia crisis, a Turkish F16 took off from its base in Balikesir and crashed shortly afterwards near Chios. One of the two pilots, Osman Chilekli, managed to jump out of his seat. He was rescued by the Greek navy and surrendered to the Turkish coast. The other pilot, Nail Erdogan, was declared missing after he was never found. His relatives spoke of the downing of the Turkish plane but the Turkish government denied it. Rescued pilot Osman Chilekli later said the F16 had been shot down by a Greek missile, saying “this incident is a disgrace to the Turkish air force”. Finally in 2012 the then Minister of Defense of Turkey Ismet Yilmaz admitted that the Turkish F16 was shot down by a Greek Mirage 2000 which fired against it air-to-air missile R.550 Magic II.