A C-101 Aviojet aircraft of the Honduran air force sits on the flight line with its canopy open. Some of these Spanish-designed trainer/light attack jets in service in South America are manufactured under license in Chile. (Wikipedia Commons)

A Spanish Air Force commander was killed Monday when his military aircraft plunged into the sea in southeastern Spain, marking the second deadly plane crash in the country in as many days.

The pilot was conducting an instructional flight about 9:30 a.m., local time, when the C-101 plane crashed into the waters of the Mar Menor lagoon near La Manga, according to a statement by Spain’s Defense Ministry.

Authorities said that the commander, later identified as Francisco Marín Núñez, was the only person on board and was able to eject before the aircraft crashed. The cause of the accident is under investigation.

Cellphone footage posted on social media shows a small aircraft nose-diving into the water near a beach.

Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez said the pilot’s death was confirmed after “intense” rescue operations.

“All my love for the family of Commander Francisco Marín,” he wrote on Twitter.

The Defense Ministry also shared its condolences on Twitter.

“Great dismay at the death of Commander Francisco Marín Núñez,” the department said. “We join the pain of family, friends and colleagues from (the Air Force).”

The crash comes a day after seven people died in a midair collision over the Spanish island of Mallorca. The crash involved a sightseeing helicopter and a small plane.


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