Bulgaria’s Defence Ministry: Military Police investigation into fatal MiG-29 crash concluded

The Military Police investigation into the Bulgarian Air Force MiG-29 crash on June 9 in which pilot Major Valentin Terziev died has been completed, the Defence Ministry said on July 14.

The crash happened during tactical exercises near Shabla on Bulgaria’s Black Sea coast.

The Defence Ministry said that Aviation Accident Investigation Unit had formulated in its report three main theories about the causes that led to the plane crash, indicating one of them as the most probable.

The leading theory is that the MiG-29 crashed into the sea after the pilot became disorientated.

The other two theories are that the aircraft lost structural integrity in flight, or that the aircraft was destroyed, or the pilot killed, by shrapnel from its missile. According to the report, these scenarios are unlikely.

The ministry said that caretaker Defence Minister Georgi Panayotov was ready to submit the Military Police report to the Prosecutor’s Office, which is continuing the investigation under the Code of Criminal Procedure.

It was expected that within three to four weeks, the flight record from the black box would to be retrieved, at a specialist laboratory of the manufacturer in Russia.

The Defence Chief has ordered an assessment of the degree of applicability of the regulations on Air Force flights given the existing limitations of funding for flights.

The necessary measures have been taken to prevent emergency situations and the planned flight activity of the fighter aircraft is being resumed, the Defence Ministry said.

(Archive photo: US Air Force)

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