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.
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.
Black Sea Fleet has received miltirole fighters Su-30 and unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) Orlan-10, said the Russian Defense Ministry
“Multi-purpose fighter Su-30 is intending to replace the Su-24 jets, which are now basis of aviation Black Sea Fleet,” – said in the press service of the Black Sea Fleet, which was received by the Interfax-AVN on Tuesday.
“Sukhoi Su-30 multirole fighter jets will eventually replace Sukhoi Su-24 jets which currently constitute the core of the aviation of the Black Sea Fleet,” says a report of the fleet press service seen by Interfax-AVN on Tuesday.
“Black Sea Fleet UAV pilots are also successfully training to use Orlan-10 UAVs, which Black Sea Fleet as Naval have not operated before,” the report said.
Black Sea Fleet pilots “have started flying Sukhoi Su-30 supersonic multirole fighters stationed at an airfield in Crimea,” it said.
“The first three warplanes have performed flights in the airspace of the peninsula. Five Black Sea Fleet crews were trained to fly new types of aircraft last year. Another team of pilots is being trained in Yeisk starting today,” the ministry said.
Small-sized Orlan-10 drones are equipped with photo and video cameras to collect data and conduct aerial reconnaissance in any weather. “Unmanned aerial vehicles’ operator crews perform daily flights above fleet ranges for monitoring combat training,” the report said.
UAV Orlan – 10
“The Black Sea Fleet’s seaborne aviation will continue to receiving brand new weapons this year,” the fleet staff reported.
UAV photo Vitaly V.Kuzmin