Investigators in eastern Europe are looking for those who took a light twin, possibly a Piper Aztec, on a seven-nation tour of the region without letting anyone know they were coming. The sudden appearance of the aircraft, which apparently did not contact any air traffic control authorities, took off Thursday from Lithuania and went through Poland, Slovakia, Hungary, Romania and Serbia on its way to the Bulgarian city of Targovishte. It was abandoned there and there’s been no sign of whoever was on board. Given what’s going on a few hundred miles to the east, the flight attracted some attention. “What’s the purpose? Who are these people? What happened? We are investigating”, the Bulgarian Minister of Interior Boyko Rashkov Rashkov was quoted as saying in local media.
Given the number of eyes on aerial activity in the region, the flight attracted a fair bit of attention by the militaries of the affected countries and Hungarian and Romanian fighters had eyes on the little twin but it ducked into the next country before they could intercept. It even refuelled once and authorities haven’t been able to figure out where. It was apparently never considered a major threat. “At no time was the plane a threat to civilian or military infrastructure in Bulgaria. It flew at low altitudes, which made difficult the interception for fighter jets, but it was monitored all the time. The Ministry of Defense is taking the appropriate actions to establish the circumstances”, Defense Minister Dragomir Zakov was quoted by Euractiv as saying.
This is reminiscent of the time a young pilot flew a Cessna 172 into the then Soviet Union and landed it in Red Square to the embarrassment of the Russian military. Perhaps the best way to attack a foreign country is with a bunch of light sport planes and not missiles or fighter jets.
The 172 flight to Red Square went unnoticed by the Soviet air defense. This one was intercepted in several countries, rightfully deemed harmless and let go.
The aircraft was just sold dirt cheap with everything expired and new owner attempted to ferry it home “under the radar”.
Don’t give TSA any more dumb ideas. Those idiots will ground everything the FAA has not gotten to yet with the leaded fuel issue!
Piper Aztec – It may not be stealthy but it sure is evasive!
Well, this just won’t do!!!!….This persnickety lawlessness and aviator chicanery needs to be halted immediately!! New anti-naughty laws a’commin folks.