The body of the 47-year-old pilot whose single-engine, two-seat plane went down over the Patraikos Gulf in western Greece Wednesday has been retrieved.
The body was found Saturday afternoon by Coast Guard divers inside the plane. It will eventually be taken to the city of Patras for an autopsy
The plane had taken off from the town of Messolonghi, about 200 km west of Athens, and was headed to Patras when it plunged into the sea, for reasons unknown so far.
The pilot of the aircraft that had fallen into the Gulf Bay was found dead.
The body of the pilot Panagiotis Kefalas, 47 years old, was spotted, whose aircraft crashed in the Kaboyrotrypa area, Messolonghi, last Wednesday, January 16.
The divers spotted the aircraft at a depth of 50 meters, very close to where the eyewitness had indicated from the beginning.
The aircraft rolled over and fell into the sea, as reported by a fisherman who saw it while fishing in this area. “I heard a noise, I saw the plane being very low, it flipped in the air and then sank unfortunately almost immediately,” he said eyewitness features.
The retired engineer of the Air Force and Professor of the University of Patras, Panagiotis Kefalas, is the missing pilot from the fall of the single-engine aircraft in the marine area of Messolonghi. The plane, according to a fisherman, has fallen into the sea area of Kryoneri and will need a special operation by divers from the port, to reach the point and look for the aircraft fuselage and the unfortunate pilot who is a resident of Patras.
According to patranews.gr, the plane was launched from the Mesolongi airfield to Patras. The data that are recorded refer to a professor at the University of Patras, who was fond of the particular sport. The pilot had last communication at 12:29 with Andravida airport. At 13:20 and as it had not landed, an alarm was given, and at 13:24 the authorities were in danger.
In the investigations, a vessel of the port of Messolonghi, a vessel of the Central Port Authority of Patras, as well as a vehicle of Messolonghi, one of Nafpaktos, one of the Hellenic Police Force and the 6th ΕΜΑΚ, participated in the investigations, while the afternoon helicopter of search and rescue Araxos, flew over the sea area where witnesses saw the aircraft fall. Mesolongi also went to the fire brigade commander Yiannis Petroutsos.
Update 15:30-Patras local news sources are reporting the following which is unconfirmed at present.
A Professor of the University of Patras is dead from the fall of the aeroplane in Messolonghi. The aeroplane fell deep in the Kryoneri area, near Nafpaktos, and will need a special business from the sea so that the Ports divers approach the spot and pull the pilot dead. The aeroplane started from the Araxos airfield in the direction of Patraikos. The data that are recorded refer to the University Professor of the University of Patras, who was fond of the particular sport.
At this time, divers are trying to find the plane, which fell across from Kryoneri.
Latest update 13.23
Unknown for the time being is the pilot’s fate as well as a second person on the aircraft.
The ambulance of the EKAB has arrived at the point, for which the help of the Fire Brigade was needed to escape from the sand and the waters.
The information on the aircraft drop came from witnesses who saw the aircraft fall into the sea.
As the Coast Guard spokesman told the Iphimerida, the incident became known by a private phone call, who said he saw the downward course of the aircraft and the impact on the water and led the authorities “to the marine area of Krioneri – Mesologi”.
There have already been two patrol boats on the port, while in the surveys two fishermen are in the area.
“In the meantime, we will have three more ships (port of port) to help. So far, we have no findings, “said the Coast Guard spokesman.
According to the first information, the aircraft belongs to the Mesolonghi Air Force and was flying the Patras – Messolongi flight.
The same sources reported that the last contact with the pilot took place at 12:29, while it remains unclear if a second person was on board the aircraft.
Earlier, the airline told iefimerida that “we are trying to find out if it is our own aircraft or if it comes from another area”, noting that they are going to the area to help with the investigation.
In addition to the port, the forces of the Fire Brigade, the Police, the private and the ambulance of the EKAB are in the region.
As the patrastimes says, the first ambulance approaching the point where the aircraft fell, stuck in the sand and the waters, and at this time the Firefighters are rushing to pull it and unravel it.