Pilot of Bulgarian fighter jet died in crash during drill: ministry

Source: Xinhua| 2021-06-11 00:23:46|Editor: huaxia

SOFIA, June 10 (Xinhua) -- The pilot of the Bulgarian MiG-29 fighter jet which disappeared on Wednesday during a military drill over the Black Sea has died, the Defense Ministry said in a statement on Thursday.

The aircraft lost radio communication and disappeared from radars at 00:45 local time on Wednesday when performing a training task during the tactical live fire exercise "Shabla 21." A search and rescue operation was then launched.

It was established that the pilot, 47-year-old Major Valentin Terziev, has died, the statement said.

Earlier on Thursday, the country's Chief of Defense Admiral Emil Eftimov told reporters that the search teams have found parts of rescue equipment, debris from the jet, and "biological material, which was sent for DNA examination."

"Our activities will be focused mainly on finding the 'black box' of the plane," Eftimov said.

The exercise was suspended immediately after the accident, as was the planned flying activity in the Bulgarian Army.

According to the website of the Defense Ministry, "Shabla 21," which started Monday and was planned to end Friday, is supposed to involve more than 2,000 members of the military staff from the Armed Forces of Bulgaria and the United States. Enditem