A SPANISH Air Force pilot has died after crashing in Spain’s La Manga.

The plane dramatically crashed into the Mediterranean Sea, one kilometre off the coast of La Manga, early yesterday afternoon. 

According to the Spanish Air Force, the pilot, Major Eduardo Fermín Garvalena, 38 years old, has died.

The discovery of the remains of the damaged jet has confirmed that the pilot had not been able to eject from the aircraft.

In a statement the Spanish Air Force said: “With the search tasks not yet completed, we regret to inform you that our colleague, Commander Eduardo Garvalena Crespo Aguila5 has passed away.

“We join in the grief of his family and friends R.I.P. Fly high comrade!”

TRIBUTE: The Spanish Air Force honours its pliot Major Eduardo Fermín Garvalena

Reports from the Spanish Air Force indicate that the Spanish-made C-101 jet, used for air stunts, hit the water near La Manga in the Murcia region in early afternoon.

The C-101 aircraft of the General Air Academy (AGA), is usually used by the pilots of the Eagle Patrol and with which the students of the AGA train. 

A pilot died in August in a similar accident with the same jet type and in the same area.

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The event took place one kilometre from the coast of San Javier.

The emergency services were alerted by residents in the area who witnessed the tragic incident.

Official sources have explained that the incident occurred when the acrobatic unit was performing a training session at the height of kilometre 6.5 of La Manga and fell into the water, for reasons yet unknown.

Aircraft Similar To The C 101 Aircraft That Crashed Credit Spanish Airforce
JET: An aircraft similar to the C-101 aircraft that crashed yesterday

An investigation has been launched to try and clarify the facts.

Eduardo Fermin Garvalena was born in Granada in May 1981, and was responsible for the ‘solo’ patrol, the one in charge of taking the plane to its limits in the safest and most spectacular way.

He had more than 2,000 hours of flight experience in different squadrons of the Air Force, including the 14th Wing in command of the Eurofighter.

In 2017 he joined the General Air Academy in San Javier.

Abroad, he has participated in the Baltic Air Police mission in Lithuania in 2016 and in Operation Atalanta in Djibouti in 2018.

This is the third accident of an AGA aircraft in the last months.

The two previous ones took place in August and September in accidents in which their crew members also died.

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