Two Turkish soldiers killed in jet crash in western province of İzmir
“Correspondence with our SF-260D training jet, which had two pilots on a training exercise and which took off from the Çiğli/İzmir 2nd Main Jet Base at 10:26 [a.m.], was cut at around 10:49 [a.m.],” the Turkish Armed Forces stated.
“The wreck [of the jet] and the bodies of our two soldiers were found three kilometers north of the airport in the search and rescue operation carried out afterwards,” the statement added.
An investigation into the incident has begun, it also said.
The two pilots were identified as Capt. Yunus Bal and Lt. Resul Ekrem Gökdoğan.
According to military sources, weather conditions were flightworthy and the possibility of technical fault was considered.
Since 2011, five military pilots have been killed and three have been wounded in four crashes in and around İzmir.
Test flights are regarded as the most risky flights by experts.
“Pilots on a test flight aim to test the parts and accessories that have been put under maintenance. They attempt the most difficult moves while flying the plane. They are very qualified and experienced pilots. It’s not an easy task. After the test flights, the plane is then assigned to the pilot who will fly it,” retired Lt. Gen. Erdoğan Karakuş told daily Hürriyet.