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Piper PA-23 flies through four countries, no flight plan, intercepted, lands in BG

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Piper PA-23 flies through four countries, no flight plan, intercepted, lands in BG

Old 10th Jun 2022, 12:07
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Piper PA-23 flies through four countries, no flight plan, intercepted, lands in BG

Popping up in local news the last couple of days. For now, it seems that nobody has the complete picture. Quoting a news article as I'm unable to post links:
An unidentified Beechcraft with its transponder and radio turned off flew in the airspaces of Hungary, Romania, Serbia and Bulgaria on June 8, 2022. According to a press release issued by the Romanian Ministry of National Defense, the aircraft is thought to have taken off in the region of Debrecen, Hungary at approximately 16:30 CET (2:30 pm GMT) with two people onboard.

Eight minutes later the aircraft was intercepted by a pair Hungarian Air Force Saab JAS 39 Gripen fighter jets. According to the release, the aircraft did not respond to attempts to establish radio communication and ignored all visual signals.

At 17.49 the aircraft entered Romanian airspace in the vicinity of Oradea. As per a cross-border agreement between Romania and Hungary, the Hungarian jets continued to accompany the Beechcraft.

Several minutes later, the aircraft was intercepted by two patrolling US Air Force F-16 Fighting Falcons from 86th Feteşti Air Base. Six USAF F-16s were deployed in Romania in early May 2022 as part of an air policing mission. Upon interception, the Hungarian JAS 39s returned to base.

At 18:36 the mission of following the Beechcraft was taken over by two Romanian Air Force F-16s. While being followed, the aircraft entered Serbian airspace for two minutes in an area between Drobeta-Turnu Severin and Korbovo.

At 19:09 the Beechcraft entered Bulgarian airspace, and the Romanian aircraft returned to base.
Also, some sources state the plane might be a Beech, not a Piper. Strange occurrence. They report that the occupants of the aircraft stopped at least once to refuel with jugs stored in the cockpit. Our ministry reports that the aircraft was found at Targovishte's old airport LBTG
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Old 10th Jun 2022, 14:30
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An-2, according to the link in Spectators Balcony.
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Old 10th Jun 2022, 14:58
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Originally Posted by DaveReidUK View Post
An-2, according to the link in Spectators Balcony.
Aztec in the one I posted.
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Old 10th Jun 2022, 15:00
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Originally Posted by DaveReidUK View Post
An-2, according to the link in Spectators Balcony.
In that linked article, I only see the former owner posing next to an AN-2.
In the article linked by Expatrick + all over the internet you'll find reference to a Piper Aztec, LY-LOO
And even an alleged photo of the abandoned aircraft after the 'mysterious' flight

Last edited by DIBO; 10th Jun 2022 at 15:14. Reason: typo + clarification based on next post
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Old 10th Jun 2022, 15:07
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Originally Posted by DIBO View Post
In that linked article, I only see the former owner posing next to an AN-2.
All over the internet you'll find reference to a Piper Aztec, LY-LOO
And even an alleged photo of the abandoned aircraft after the 'mysterious' flight
From the article I posted

The aircraft’s registration number was LY-LOO. This registration number is held by the 1962 PA-23-250 Aztec aircraft of the aircraft manufacturer Piper but is no longer valid.
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Old 11th Jun 2022, 19:54
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This stirred up a politically charged controversy in Hungary.
After failing to track and notify the Croatian authorities about the Tu-141 high-speed reconnaissance drone plane in March 2022 (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2022_Zagreb_Tu-141_crash) , there was a series of false alerts for the JAS-39 Gripen fighters from NATO command.
And yet again, after this aircraft appeared out of nowhere in the North, and disappeared in Bulgaria for some time, there are a lot of people who wish it had been shot down, plain and simple! Like in a good old days of Soviet Rule.
Younger people point at the large number of casualties in history, caused by civilian airplanes shot down by air defence / air force weapons, and argue that it was just not worth the risk to fire at it and shoot it down.
Given how far the aircraft progressed towards the Black Sea, I can't help thinking that it was an escape of a discovered KGB-spy from the Baltic states to Russia. Time will tell.
But the general problem remains: once you get into the air, the options at hand to deal with your violations are rather binary - a figher plane can kill you and everyone else on board or let you do what you want.
There are more spohisticated and scaleable options for the ground forces, police, border control etc.
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Old 11th Jun 2022, 19:59
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Given how far the aircraft progressed towards the Black Sea, I can't help thinking that it was an escape of a discovered KGB-spy from the Baltic states to Russia. Time will tell.
From articles I've seen they seem to have spent the a fair bit of time negotiating the purchase (though the seller seemed curiously uninterested in who they were...). If you wanted to get out quickly you'd just steal one?
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Old 11th Jun 2022, 20:34
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According to this arcticle, the plane was sold, so it was no stealing. However it may or may not have had an active registration with the Lithuanian authorities, which may have necessiated the smuggling to Bulgaria, skipping all the transfer permits and red tape before getting a registration in Bulgaria.
What is really interesting is that even though the contract was in a foreing language, the seller and buyer name must be recognizable on it. It leaves a bit of doubt about the honesty of the Lithuanian owner, when he said he could not remember the name of the buyers. Perhaps they didn't sign an contract, just gave him lots of cash, and that was it!
Still leave the question, why were the buyers in such a hurry.

https://www.thedrive.com/the-war-zon...-crew-vanished
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