Air tanker crashes in Greece, killing pilot

From Reuters:

A Greek fire-fighting plane crashed while battling a blaze on the Ionian Sea island of Kefalonia on Thursday, killing the pilot, authorities said.

The accident happened three days after fire fighters managed to bring under control a wildfire that destroyed 150 homes and thousands of hectares of forest and farmland near Athens.

“The death of airforce colonel Stergios Kotoulas has shattered us,” Greek President Karolos Papoulias said. “He fell at the frontline doing his duty, battling the fire.”

The 1983, Polish-made PZL plane crashed nine minutes after taking off from the Kefalonia airport to fight a forest fire, officials said. Nobody else was on board.

The 55-year-old father of two had thousands of hours of flight experience on several types of aircraft.

Our sincere condolences to the family and co-workers of colonel Kotoulas.



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Author: Bill Gabbert

After working full time in wildland fire for 33 years, he continues to learn, and strives to be a Student of Fire.