Osman Çilekli claimed that following the Greek attack, he activated the automatic pilot system, and barely had time to save himself by landing in the waters after opening his parachute.
His colleague, Capt. Nail Erdoğan, however, fell into the sea and has never been found.
Çilekli said the cause of the crash had been kept secret by the Turkish Armed Forces, according to the Medya Radar report.
"It was great shame to the Armed Forces, and that was why it was kept a secret for so long," Çilekli said. "His family was told eight years later. It is no longer a secret since President Abdullah Gül ordered the remains to be recovered. There are other secrets too," he added.
Gül’s move came shortly after research boat Nautilus was able to locate the wreckage of a Turkish reconnaissance jet believed to have been downed by Syria last month. Along with the wreckage, Nautilus located and recovered the bodies of the two reconnaissance pilots last week, giving new hope to Erdoğan’s family that their loved one’s remains will also be located and retrieved.
Asian Defence News