A Bulgarian Soviet-made Su-25 attack aircraft crashed on Wednesday during a training flight near the Bezmyer Air Base, as a result of which the pilot received minor injuries.
This was reported by Euractiv.
The pilot, one of the most experienced in the Bulgarian Air Force, ejected from a low altitude and is now in relatively good condition. The plane fell far from the runway, no one else was injured.
The plane that crashed is among a dozen Su-25s that Bulgaria has in its fleet, half of which it modernized two years ago in Belarus for 42 million euros. Due to the small number of active fighters, Sofia refused to send Su-25s to Ukraine at the beginning of the war, as they are among the few combat-capable aircraft in the country's air force.
Bulgaria still has 7-8 serviceable MiG-29 fighter jets, which are being negotiated with Poland for repair. In 2025, Bulgaria is to receive the first modern F-16 Block 70-72 fighters from the USA.
But the causes of the accident remain unclear.
"It is still too early to talk about the causes of the accident. It was a normal flight on approach," said Bulgarian Defense Minister Dimitr Stoyanov, who pointed to the pilot's extensive experience.
Last year, a Bulgarian MiG-29 fighter jet crashed in the Black Sea during exercises, killing the pilot. In recent years, there have been more and more accidents in the Bulgarian Air Force due to old Soviet military equipment and few training flights for Bulgarian pilots.