Turkish fighter jet crashes near Syrian border, pilot dead
Contact with a Turkish F-16 jet fighter that was flying over the Amanos Mountains near the Syrian border was lost at around 2.15 pm today. Hürriyet file photoThe pilot of a Turkish F-16 jet fighter, which was lost while flying over the Amanos Mountains in the southern province of Osmaniye near the Syrian border at around 2.15 p.m. on May 13, has been found dead, according to Osmaniye Governor Celalettin Cerrah.
Hours ago, body parts of the plane and some pieces of glass were found at the Çarsık Plateau in the same area.
"The pilot of the crashed plane has been martyred," Anatolia news agency quoted the governor as saying.
"We have received information that the jet crashed in the Yarpuz region of the Amanos Mountains in the direction of Hatay," Gov. Cerrah had said earlier in the day.
The pilot was identified as Lieutenant Hamza Gümüşsoy.
Pilot’s body sent home after army ceremony
The body of the jet fighter pilot has been sent to his hometown of Aksaray following a military funeral ceremony that took place at an İncirlik air base on May 14, Anatolia news agency has reported.
Gümüşsoy’s body was found after hours of searching by three military helicopters. His final message to the military officials was “I’m jumping,” according to daily Hürriyet.
Gümüşsoy was a member of the 5th Main Jet Command in the northern province of Amasya and had graduated from the Air Force Academy in 2008. His parents, Yunus and Zübeyde Gümüşsoy, received condolences at their house in Aksaray.
The reason for the crash of the jet, which was on a routine flight mission, was “99 percent” technical failure, official sources told the Hürriyet Daily News. The pilot was either too late to eject his seat, or the parachute system on the pilot seat failed and led to his death, the sources added.
Villagers living near the Yarpuz plateau confirmed that they had heard a big noise like an explosion, according to Doğan News Agency.
A sum of around 4,000 soldiers, policemen and villagers were searching the lost pilot, Doğan News Agency reported. A heavy fog was hampering the efforts.
The Yarpuz Plateau is located 30 kilometers away from Osmaniye’s provincial center.
The pilot sent a message saying "I'm jumping" before radio contact was lost, according to a written statement from the Turkish Armed Forces.
The jet, which is based at the 5th Main Jet Command in the northern province of Amasya, was performing a mission flight over the area.
In June 2012, another Turkish military plane was shot down off of Syria’s Mediterranean coast by Syria, leaving two soldiers dead.