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Romanian MiG-21 fighter jet crashed during Borcea Open Day

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The MiG-21 fighter jet of the Romanian Air Force has crashed at Base 86 Borcea during Borcea Open Day, with the loss of the pilot.

The aircraft, which was participating in Borcea Open Day demonstration flight, came down at Base 86 Borcea at approximately around 13.30 LT on Jul. 7.

The 36-year-old, initially reported as ejected from the aircraft, has been declared dead in the accident.

Lieutenant-commander Florin Rotaru was 36 years old and served as Chief Pilot at 861 Air Force.

He was the first-class pilot, he had over 400 hours of flight, of which about 250 on MiG-21. He was a graduate of the Air Force Academy “Henri Coanda” since 2005.

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 public attending Open Day has been evacuated from the airbase and the rest of the flying display, cancelled.

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

Romania, a NATO member since 2004, received its first six F-16 fighter jets from Portugal in 2016, as it phases out its communist-era MiGs.

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Executive Editor

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