MiG 21 LanceR, IAR 330 Puma helicopter crashed in Constanta, 8 dead

An IAR 330 Puma helicopter and a MiG 21 LanceR crashed in Constanta on Wednesday evening. All seven crew members of a IAR 330 Puma helicopter sent on search and rescue mission for a disappeared MiG 21 LanceR aircraft have lost their lives. Soon after the pilot of the MiG was also found dead.

“We lost two aircraft. In the case of the helicopter that left on the search and rescue mission for the pilot of the MiG 21 LanceR, unfortunately we confirm the crash at 11 km from the airfield in the area of the locality Gura Dobrogei. Unfortunately all five crew of the helicopter have lost their lives,” the spokesperson for the Defence Ministry, Constantin Spinu, announced on Wednesday evening.

The IAR 330 Puma that took off, on Wednesday, around 20:21, on a search and rescue mission for a MiG 21 LanceR that disappeared from radar after losing contact with the control tower, also disappeared from radar around 20:44.

Captain Costinel Iosif Nita, the pilot of the MiG-21 LanceR plane that crashed on Wednesday in the Constanta County, lost his life, too, the Ministry of National Defence reported.

The pilot was 31 years old, married and had no children.

He had been a pilot in the 861st Combat Aviation Squadron of the 86th Air Base in Borcea since 2014. He had over 570 flight hours, with approximately 420 on the LanceR MiG-21.

A commission of the General Staff of the Air Force and of the Military Prosecutor’s Office attached to the Constanta Military Court continues the investigation into the circumstances that led to the crash.

The Ministry of Defence deplores the tragic accident and their thoughts are with the grieving family of Captain Costinel Iosif Nita, who died on duty. On Thursday, religious ceremonies will be organized in all military units in the country and in those deployed outside the national territory to commemorate the deceased soldiers,” reads a press release of the Ministry of National Defence.

“Smooth flight to the stars! We lost, last night, 8 brave Romanians, 8 soldiers dedicated to their country and the missions they were entrusted to, 8 comrades. In all military units in the country and in those dislocated outside the national territory, military and religious ceremonies were organized to commemorate the eight fallen soldiers. May God rest them in peace!,” the ministry says in a Facebook post.
Potential causes of the tragedies


From the first clues, it seems that the two tragic events were based on different causes, even if we are talking about planes that fell shortly after one after another, in approximately the same area, in the same weather conditions.

In the case of the helicopter, the first hypothesis is the deposition of icing (ice) on the rotor blades, which would have led to the lowering of the lift and the collapse of the aircraft.Investigators will look into other possible causes, such as possible technical failures or pilot error.

In any case, the Ministry of National Defense rejected any connection with the war situation in Ukraine: “Any connection between the situation in Ukraine and the collapse of the Mig 21 and IAR-330 military aircraft last night in Constanța County is excluded. An investigation by the Military Prosecutor’s Office has begun, which will determine the exact causes of the accidents, and other information in this regard will be communicated only by prosecutors “, the spokesperson of the Ministry of National Defense told biziday.ro.

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