Probe begins into Bulgarian Air Force helicopter accident that cut power to town

A second inspection was to take place on August 22 at the site where a Bulgarian Air Force Cougar helicopter cut power lines, leaving a town in the Plovdiv district without electricity and water.

No military personnel or civilians were injured in the accident, which happened at about 6.25pm on August 21, Bulgaria’s Defence Ministry said.

The ministry said that during a training flight for a medical evacuation, the helicopter’s pilot performed a sharp manouevre to avoid a flock of birds. This resulted in the power lines being damaged.

For a few hours, most of the town of Stamboliyski and the surrounding villages were left without electricity and water, because the power cut also affected a pump station.

The three-man crew landed the helicopter at an airfield at the village of Tsalapitsa. Military Police are investigating the incident.

The incident came two months after the crash of a Bulgarian Air Force Mi-17 helicopter, in which two pilots died and a third was severely injured. Defence Minister Krassimir Karakachanov subsequently blamed that accident on pilot error, a consequence of inadequate flying time.



The Sofia Globe staff

The Sofia Globe - the Sofia-based fully independent English-language news and features website, covering Bulgaria, the Balkans and the EU. Sign up to subscribe to's daily bulletin through the form on our homepage.