Story By: Ernest Bio Bogore, Sub-Editor: Marija Stojkoska, Agency: Newsflash
These incredible underwater images show a French Navy jet fighter lying 7,874 feet beneath the sea after it disappeared 60 years ago.
The plane was discovered by chance during a scientific mission involving teams from Ifremer (French Research Institute for Exploitation of the Sea) and the French Navy.
Researchers came across the wreckage of the Aquilon 205 aircraft of the Flotilla 11F of the French Naval Aviation 60 years after it crashed at sea on 13th June 1960.
Images released by the French Navy show the wreckage at a depth of 2,400 metres (7,874 feet) off Porquerolles, an island in the Hyeres Islands in the French region of Provence-Alpes-Cote d’Azur.
The aircraft’s disappearance occurred when the pilot was still completing his landing qualification, according to the French newspaper Le Parisien.
It was during his last flight before returning to the Hyeres base that the plane suddenly crashed into the water.
The pilot, Jean Legouhy, 27, disappeared, leaving behind a 24-year-old wife and three young children.
Rear-Admiral Eric Janicot, commander of the Naval Aeronautics, said they delayed making the discovery public on 20th November to make sure his family was aware first.
The images were taken thanks to the Victor 6000 robot, a Remote Operated Vehicle designed for deep-sea exploration. It can also generate high-quality optical imaging, and carry and operate a diverse range of scientific tools and equipment.
The Aquilon was the first operational jet fighter in the French Navy. Built in 1952, the series made its last flight on 30th June 1966.
It was not revealed whether the remains of the pilot were still in the aircraft.
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