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Sorrow cannot be put out

28 August 2009 / 12:08:05  GRReporter
2364 reads

 

The mission of putting out the fire near Kefalonia's capital - Argostoli, was entrusted to the 55 year old pilot from the Military Aviation Sterios Kotoulas, announced Eleftherotipia newspaper.

Together with one more airplane, under the direction of Kotoulas, with a low flight the airplanes directed to the burning area. When the Kotoulas was 20-30 meters away from the fire, the pilot of the other airplane saw that his plane was rotating around its axis and is falling directly into the center of the fire, in the yard of a hotel. Fortunately, no one from the guests of the hotel was injured.

According to the second pilot, Kotoulas' airplane hit some electric cables and the wing was split in two. As a result the airplane was uncontrollable. When he saw this, the second pilot took his airplane higher and informed the central office. Ambulances arrived at the scene immediately and the body of Kotoulas was found. The story of the second pilot was confirmed by experts, who reviewed the airplane at the scene.

The PZL airplanes in Kefalonia do not take water from the sea but instead they either land and take water from a source or fill up their tanks with special foam. Those airplanes were bought from Poland 25 years ago. According to technicians, the airplanes never get old, because they consist of thousands of parts, which have an expiration date and when the time comes they are replaces with brand new parts.

During the same period in 1983, Greece bought a total of 30 PZL airplanes, out of which 12 had crashed and six of their pilots have died. Not long ago the other airplanes underwent a service check and the technicians concluded that the machines have only few flying hours left. Those hours were different for the different airplanes because of their problems.

The 55 year old pilot Sterios Kotoulas was a father of two. He has flown a total of 4 025 hours in army, transport, and fire fighting airplanes, out of which he had 524 hours of experience in flying PZL.

 

Tags: NewsCrime newsFiresWildfires in GreecePilot crash
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