site.btaUPDATED Small Aircraft Violates Bulgarian Air Space, Tracked Down, Probe Underway
A small aircraft violated the Bulgarian air space Wednesday evening, the Defence Ministry said Thursday. It landed in Bulgaria, was tracked down by the competent authorities and an investigation is underway.
The aircraft took off from Hungary and overflew Serbia and Romania without an approved flight plan. In Hungarian air space it was escorted by Hungarian fighters and in Romania by Romanian and US fighters based at the Fetesti airbase and performing air policing tasks.
The Bulgarian Air Force were activated as the aircraft entered the Bulgarian air space in difficult weather conditions. It was found to have landed in Bulgaria and its location was found with the help of the Interior Ministry. An investigation has started, the Defence Ministry said.
Later on Thursday, Interior Minister Boyko Rashkov told journalists that the aircraft refueled in Vidin. Afterward it landed on a private land between Targovishte and Shumen, northeastern Bulgaria.
Rashkov's ministry has ordered an inspection of all sites where an aircraft of this type could land. He said that the plane was found to have taken off from Lithuania, passing through Poland and Slovakia.
An investigation is underway into the people on the plane and the purpose of the flight. Rashkov noted that the aircraft is 60 years old.
Later in the day, the Varna Appellate Prosecutor's Office announced that the Targovishte District Prosecutor's Office was working to clarify details in a case of an open two-seater plane abandoned at an old airport in the village of Buhovtsi.
The pre-trial proceedings are under Article 341b of the Criminal Code which envisages up to ten years of imprisonment for the offense. An inspection is to be carried out, and data is being collected on the movement of the aircraft on an international route.
The plane was found on Thursday while searching for possible landing sites in Targovishte district in connection with the case announced by the Ministry of Defence. According to the data available so far, the plane took off from Hungary and flew through Serbia and Romania without an approved flight plan.