Unidentified aircraft crosses airspace of four European countries, including Romania
A Beechcraft twin-engine aircraft with two people on board crossed the airspace of Hungary, Romania, Serbia and Bulgaria on the evening of June 8, the Romanian Defense Ministry said in a statement.
"The plane that crossed Romania's airspace along a route including Oradea, Caransebes, and Drobeta-Turnu Severin showed no signs of hostile or dangerous behaviour," the statement reads.
"The pilot did not respond to radio requests and visual signals from the warplanes that were escorting the aircraft in accordance with international rules," the Romanian Defense Ministry added.
According to current information, the plane took off from the area of the Hungarian city of Debrecen at about 17:30, having no approved flight plan and with transponders turned off. Two Hungarian warplanes escorted the aircraft in Hungary's airspace. The aircraft was intercepted in Hungarian airspace by two military aircraft of the Hungarian Air Force, type JAS 39 Gripen, at 17.38. The aircraft did not respond to radio interrogations or visual signals from military aircraft. At around 17.49, the aircraft entered the Romanian airspace in the Oradea area, accompanied by the two Hungarian military aircraft, based on the cross-border agreement between Romania and Hungary.
At 17.58, the Hungarian aircraft returned to the base, the target being taken over by two F-16 aircraft of the US Air Force. The mission of the two American aircraft was similar, radio interrogation, visual identification and escorting of the target aircraft.
At 18.36, the air police mission was taken over by two F-16 aircraft of the Romanian Air Force. The Romanian military aircraft intercepted the target aircraft at 18.42 and continued the interrogation and escort mission.
The target aircraft, which continued to not respond to radio and visual queries, intersected at around 19:00 for about two minutes with Serbian airspace in an area between Drobeta Turnu Severin and Korbovo. Around 19.09, the target aircraft crossed into the airspace of Bulgaria. The two Romanian F-16 aircraft completed the air police mission and landed in Fetești around 7.46 pm.
The Bulgarian authorities are currently investigating the area of the last known target position on the ground to identify the aircraft and establish the details, the Romanian Defense Ministry noted.