Greek political leaders expressed their condolences throughout Thursday and the armed forces announced a three-day mourning period for Hellenic Air Force pilot Georgios Baltadoros, 34, who died when his Mirage 2000-5 crashed into the Aegean Sea on Thursday.
Baltadoros was returning from an interception operation to the Tanagra, mainland Greece, base when crashed into the sea 9 nautical miles northeast of the island of Skyros.
Greek president, prime minister
Condolences were expressed by Greek President Prokopios Pavlopoulos, who said the state would never forget his contribution, and Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras, who expressed his deep gratitude for the young man’s contribution to the country’s safety.
Minister of National Defence Panos Kammenos said the pilot had «joined the Pantheon of heroes» and condolences were also expressed by General Michael Kostarakos, honorary chief of Hellenic National Defence General Staff.
Messages also came in from Alternate Citizen Protection Minister Nikos Toskas, the SYRIZA party, New Democracy leader Kyriakos Mitsotakis and the party’s shadow defence minister Vassilis Kikilias, Democratic Coalition leader Fofi Gennimata, the Communist Party of Greece (KKE), Independent Greeks (ANEL), the Centrists’ Union party, Potami leader Stavros Theodorakis, and Parliament President Nikos Voutsis, among others.
Armed forces mourning period
The armed forces will observe a three-day mourning period starting Thursday, by order of Minister Kammenos. Flags will fly at half mast at all military units during the three days.
Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim expressed his and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s condolences over the death of the Greek air force pilot on Thursday, in telephone call to Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras.
According to a statement from Tsipras’ office, both men «agreed to keep communication lines open in the near future and to strengthen dialogue between the two countries in the future.»
Embassy, Air Force chief of Israel
The Embassy of Israel and the Israeli Air Force commander expressed their condolences over the death of the Greek Mirage 2000-5 pilot Georgios Baltadoros, who died on Thursday when his airplane crashed into the Aegean Sea while returning from a mission.
A tweet posted in Greek by the embassy said, «The Embassy of Israel & the Chief of the Israeli Air Force Major General A(mikam) Norkin express their deepest condolences to the family of (flight lieutenant) George Baltadoros & the Hellenic Air Force for his tragic death today.»