A Greek fighter jet pilot has been killed after his plane crashed into the central Aegean on Thursday.

The 34-year-old, since identified by the Hellenic Air Force as Captain Giorgos Baltadoros, was preparing to land the single-seated Mirage 2000-5 at the military airport on the island of Skyros when his jet crashed into the sea nine miles northeast off the coast.

Greece’s Defence Minister, Panos Kammenos took to Twitter to pay tribute to the captain.

“A Greek pilot joins the pantheon of heroes. He fell in the defence of our national sovereignty and territorial integrity,” he tweeted.

According to Greek defence sources, the Mirage Baltadoros was flying was one of the two Greek jets that had been sent on a mission earlier in the day to intercept Turkish jets in the Aegean.

Despite this however, they said that they did not believe any hostile activity was involved in the crash.

Turkey’s military has denied any involvement in the crash, claiming that there were no Turkish planes in the area at the time of the incident, reports Haberturk newspaper.

No information has been provided as yet as to the possible cause of the crash.