Bulgarian Air Force MiG-29 crash: Black box found

The black box from the Bulgarian Air Force MiG-29 that crashed into the Black Sea on June 9 has been found, caretaker Defence Minister Georgi Panayotov confirmed at a news conference on June 24.

The pilot, Major Valentin Terziev, 47, died when his aircraft crashed into the sea near Shabla on Bulgaria’s northern Black Sea coast during a training exercise in the early hours of June 9.

Panayotov said that the black box, found at a depth of more than 70 metres, was on board a Bulgarian Navy vessel and would be taken to the Graf Ignatiev Air Force base for analysis.

He said that the outer shell of the black box was broken, but the hope is that the inner shell of the black box is not damaged.

If it is not damaged, the flight recorder will provide information about the flight parameters, the speed of the aircraft, the operation of the engines, the trajectory of the aircraft and whether the pilot had done something sudden that he had not been able to report.

Panayotov said that the analysis of the flight recorder would be carried out in Bulgaria. If the data was available, it would be extracted by the end of the day and forwarded to the Military Prosecutor’s Office, which is investigating the crash. This data would not be immediately reported to the media, he said.

He called for an end to speculation about the incident. The facts would be established and the public informed about the reasons for the crash, he said.

Panayotov said that the investigation would take about a further 30 working days.

The search for remnants of the aircraft, including the black box, had resumed at midnight. It had been suspended for several days because of unfavourable weather.

(Archive photo: US Air Force)

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