Bulgaria’s Navy commander: MiG-29 crash site found, but not black box

The place where Bulgarian Air Force pilot Major Valentin Terziev’s MiG-29 fighter jet crashed into the Black Sea has been found, Navy commander Rear Admiral Kiril Mihailov told a news conference on June 17.

Terziev, 47, died when his aircraft crashed into the sea on June 9 during a training exercise.

Mihailov said that remnants of the MiG-29 had been found, including parts of the landing gear and parts of the engine. The black box – the flight recorder – had not been found, he said.

The remnants of the aircraft were scattered over a large area of the seabed, at a depth of more than 70 metres.

The aircraft had shattered into thousands of small pieces. Mihailov said that the area being inspected was larger than a square kilometre.

He said that looking for the black box was like trying to find a needle in a haystack and it was not known whether it had remained intact.

A minesweeper is inspecting the area and all objects are being carefully examined by remotely controlled devices.

“We have enough teams and resources to survey the area. We do not need to seek help from other countries,” he said.

The operation has involved four naval vessels, two helicopters, three boats, and a total of 260 naval personnel and 21 Border Police.

The operation resumed on June 17 after being suspended earlier this week because of bad weather.

The parts that have been extracted from the sea have been handed over to the Military Prosecutor’s Office, which is investigating the crash.

Several days ago, Bulgaria’s Defence Ministry denied that the crash would lead to the permanent grounding of the Bulgarian Air Force’s remaining MiG-29s.

(Archive photo: US Air Force)

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