A Greek Mirage F-1 jetfighter crashed Thursday while trying to intercept a pair of Turkish F-16 jets that entered Greek airspace, and the pilot was killed, the air force said.

Two fighter jets from a Greek air base on Skiros island were involved in the interception effort over the Aegean Sea, said air force spokesman Col. Pavlos Sissas."During the interception they engaged the other aircraft, and the Greek jet crashed, killing the pilot," Sissas said.

Greek and Turkish jetfighters often engage in mock dogfights over the Aegean after alleged violations of Greek airspace. The two NATO allies have longstanding disputes over airspace and military control of the Aegean Sea as well as its seabed mineral rights.