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Bulgaria: Helicopter Crash with One Dead
The missing agricultural helicopter has been found, the pilot has died. After nearly 8 hours of searching, authorities found the crashed helicopter close to the village of Garmen.
The helicopter took off yesterday morning at 7:40 a.m. from the field in the village of Garmen. According to eyewitnesses, there was very thick fog, which apparently affected the handling of the helicopter.
Witnesses say that the noise from the aircraft stopped ten minutes after take-off. For the past three days, the private helicopter hired by the Southwest State Enterprise has been spraying against pine pests.
The helicopter took off from the airport in Tsalapitsa, but never arrived there. There was no connection with the pilot. The report of a possible accident was filed by his colleague traveling by minibus to Tsalapitsa.
"In the morning 7:45, 7:50, workers came and we heard the helicopter passing, but it was not visible, there was a lot of fog. And we only heard something that it hit, it made a boom, but no fire, nothing, there was a lot, a lot fog," comments Alben Pirinski for the National Television.
The aircraft is owned by a private company hired by the Southwest State Enterprise to carry out aerial spraying of the pine forests against pests. They started work on September 18 and finished on Thursday.
"They carried out activities on the territory of the farm according to schedule and completely normally. Until the take-off, when they started to go home - everything was absolutely normal", said Denis Shengov, director of DGS-Garmen.
A military helicopter "Cougar" took part in the search for the machine, which took off from the base in Graf Ignatievo. Structures of the Ministry of Internal Affairs, the Ministries of Transport and Defense, as well as forest officials were included in the search.
The small airport in Tsalapitsa, where the helicopter was supposed to land, is deserted.
"Tsalapitsa Airport is an airport next to the village of Plovdiv, which is used for refueling small planes and helicopters. It is used as an intermediate station for flights in agricultural aviation. There are municipal warehouses with chemical products on its territory. It is guarded. They often land here small aircraft and is used as an intermediate stop," said Emilyan Valev.
The office of the company "Aviootryad Varna" is located in Varna, but it was closed yesterday as it was a non-working day. A representative for them could not be reached.
The company's name is not in the news for the first time - in July, their helicopter flew dangerously low over Gradina beach. The manager of the company's training center was killed in an accident at Lesnovo Airport in March.
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