Nineteen people were killed and three more hospitalized after an Mi-8 helicopter crash-landed on Russia’s Yamal Peninsula in northwestern Siberia, Russian Emergencies Ministry has confirmed.
Reports from the ground say that the helicopter was badly damaged upon landing and fell onto its side, but did not explode. Poor visibility was being reported on the ground.
Reports of the Mi-8 helicopter crash-landing 80 kilometers northwest of the settlement of Urengoy came in late Friday local time. The helicopter, belonging to the Skol air company, was flying to the Suzumskoye oil and gas field in Russia’s Krasnoyarsk region, TASS reported. The airworthiness certificate of the helicopter, which was manufactured in 1984, was valid until 2017, according to the Federal Air Transport Agency.
An investigation has been launched under Part 3 of article 263 of the criminal code entitled “Violation of safety rules and operation of air transport, resulting in the death of two or more persons,” TASS reported, citing the Investigation Committee.
“The investigation deals with three main versions of the crash of the aircraft: a violation of the rules of operation and flight safety, equipment failure, and adverse weather conditions. None of these is so far regarded as most likely,” the Investigation Committee said in a statement.
Criminologists from the central office of Russia’s Investigative Committee will be taking part in the investigation, as well as experts from the Interstate Aviation Committee.
Russia’s newly-developed combat aircraft A-60 will be capable of destroying enemy targets with a high accuracy laser, an adviser to the deputy CEP of Russia’s Concern of Radio-Electric Technologies (KRET, an affiliate of Rostec), Vladimir Mikheyev, has told TASS Russian news agency.
“It will boast super-accurate navigation. The crew are to be able to precisely determine the plane’s position to direct the narrow laser beams at the selected targets,”
The airborne laser will be so powerful that the plane itself will have to be properly protected.
KRET is the manufacturer of an overwhelming majority of avionics installed on Russia’s aircraft. The new plane will be very special and equipped with a heavy-duty electric power supply system and protection from enemy radio-electronic jamming.
Also, the plane will have a very powerful onboard defense system providing protection from the most sophisticated means of attack.
Attempts at creating an airborne laser were made back in the Soviet era. The first sample of the A-60 aircraft, based on the Ilyushin-76MD transport plane was flight-tested in 1981. Several years ago the media said the project, mothballed for quite a while, was resumed. The United States conducted its own research into an airborne laser. The program that produced an experimental combat aircraft, Boeing YAL-1, was curtailed at the end of 2011.
FACTS AND FIGURES ABOUT THE RUSSIAN AEROSPACE FORCE’S OPERATION IN SYRIA
On September 30, 2015 Russia’s Federation Council (the upper house of the two-chamber parliament) voted in support of President Vladimir Putin’s request for permission to use the national armed forces in Syria against the Islamic State and Jabhat al-Nusra (terrorist groups outlawed in Russia)
* The Russian Aerospace group dealt the first strikes against the militants’ positions later in the day.
* Initially, the group consisted of 50 combat planes and helicopters. In November 2015 Russia’s long-range bombers started flowing sorties to Syria.
* With time Russia’s Navy was involved in the operation as well. Combat ships in the land-locked Caspian Sea and in the Mediterranean Sea launched cruise missiles.
* On March 15, the main contingent of the Russian Aerospace group began to be pulled out of Syria on President Putin’s orders, while the Russian support facilities in Tartus and at the air base Hmeymim have maintained routine operation ever since. The remaining Russian planes continued to provide combat support for Syrian troops.
* According to May 2016 statistics more than 10,000 sorties had been carried out and 30,000 targets, including 200 oil extraction and refining facilities, were wiped out.
* The Pentagon estimates that by that time the Islamic State militants lost 45% of the territory they had controlled in Iraq and 20% of the territory in Syria. The Syrian army regained Palmyra to turn the tide of the campaign. The Russian military participated in the operation.
* Russia has airlifted to Syria 1,000 tonnes of foods, medical supplies and essentials.
Early in the morning of September 21, 1953, two months after the end of the Korean War, North Korean Air Force Lt. But Kum Sok fly from the airbase Sunan, situated near Pyongyang. 21-year-old pilot confidently sent his plane to the side of the demarcation line between North and South Korea’s. But then, Kum Sok crossed the border and landed at the airport near Seoul Gimpo.
His flight lasted only 17 minutes. After landing, the MiG-15 taxied to the free parking lot next to the American “Sabre”. In front of astonished Americans the pilot got off the plane and then tore up a portrait of Kim Il Sung.
Curiously, during the Korean War, the Americans carried out the operation Moolah (Engl. “Bucks”) in order to get their hands on a workable copy of the Soviet jet fighter.
MiG-15 in their characteristics was not inferior, and in some respects was superior to the newest American fighter F-86 “Sabre”. Naturally, that kind of the aircraft was of great interest for US military.
In the spring of 1953, the USA gave the green light for the operation during which any Soviet, Chinese or North Korean pilot flown to the south would receive asylum and $ 50 000, and the pilot who escaped the first – to $ 100 000 ( about $ 900,000 in today’s prices).
On the night of April 26, 1953, two American bomber B-29 Superfortress dropped 1.2 million leaflets to the proposal on the Korean, Russian and Chinese on North Korea. On the April 27, 1953 14 stations in Japan and South Korea broadcast in Korean, Russian and Chinese languages:
“… All the brave pilots, who want to free themselves from the Communist yoke and start a better life … you are guaranteed shelter, protection, humane care and respect … If drivers wish, their names will be permanently stored in secret …”
However, none of the MiG-15 flown to the UN troops control area. In fact, the operation failed.
Only “success” was accidental because Lt. Kum Sok, although later received $ 100,000, claimed that he knew nothing about the American proposal. Explaining his escape, he said that he just got tired of living with the “red liars”. According to the pilot, the North Korean pilots have not even seen the American flyers since the spring, when the Americans threw them into the territory of the North Korea.