Losses and Aviation Safety

Romanian Air Force MiG-21 Lancer crashes during airshow, killing pilot

The MiG-21 Lancer was flown by Lieutenant-commander Florin Rotaru, 36

Taken on Jul. 7, 2018 the video in this post shows a Romanian Air Force (RoAF) MiG-21 Lancer fighter jet crashing at Base 86 Borcea during Borcea Open Day, killing its pilot.

According Reuters, eyewitnesses at the airshow, attended by about 4,000 people, said the plane exploded when it hit the ground. The footage shows flames and thick smoke.

Television reports quoted witnesses as saying the pilot might have tried to avoid hitting the crowds and instead chose to crash on a nearby field.

The defense ministry said the cause of the crash, some 240 kilometers (150 miles) east of Bucharest, was being investigated.

It named the dead pilot as Lieutenant-commander Florin Rotaru, 36.

Romania, a NATO member since 2004, is replacing the MiG-21s with former Portuguese Air Force (PoAF) F-16 fighter jets. Romania received its first six F-16s from Portugal in 2016.

Photo credit: Adelin Petrisor

Gabriele Barison

Gabriele Barison is an aviation, defense and military writer. He is the Co-Founder and Editor of “The Aviation Geek Club” one of the world’s most read military aviation blogs. He has flown Super Puma and Cougar helicopters with the Swiss Air Force.

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