US F-16 Pilots Engage, Fly MiGs, MiG Crashes

Fighter pilots from two Aviano-based F-16 squadrons got a unique opportunity to exchange flights with pilots in the Bulgarian Air Force — which flies MiG-21s and MiG-29s.

The exercise was cut short when a MiG-29 crashed yesterday.

Pilots from the 555th and 510th Fighter Squadrons based out of Aviano Air Base, Italy, have been given a rare opportunity to train and share experiences with Bulgarian air force MiG-21 and MiG-29 pilots during their deployment here in support of Thracian Star 2012.

At least one report indicated both pilots of the crashed jet — who successfully ejected — were Bulgarian.

The two Bulgarian pilots who bailed out before their MiG 29 fighter jet crashed during the Thracian Star 2012 exercise of the Bulgarian and US Air Forces are in a good condition, Bulgaria’s Defense Minister Anyu Angelov announced.

Another website has an extensive set of photos that appear to show a significant engine or tail fire on the doomed MiG.

Does that count as a MiG kill?