A Russian Tupolev Tu-22M3 bomber crashed on January 22, 2019, while landing at Olenya base near Murmansk, in northern Russia, after a training mission. Three crew members died, the captain is still in intensive care.
Footage of the crash, supposedly filmed by a Russian serviceman, emerged on Youtube on January 26, 2019. It shows the plane bouncing off the airstrip, separating in two before bursting into fire.
“The Tu-22M3 aircraft had a hard landing because of heavy snowfall after a training flight. It was completely destroyed,” said the Russian military, quoted by Russian news agency TASS. “Two crew members died and two others received the necessary medical assistance on the spot”. One of the crew members that survived the crash died on his way to the hospital.
The plane might have been caught in a “snow squall”, an intense snowfall drastically reducing visibility, accompanied by a sharp increase in the wind. “They were about to land, but at the moment of touching down, the vertical speed was still high,” said Russian aviation expert Vadim Lukashevich to RIA, adding: “The plane met the runway at 10 meters per sec, no less. Here, the reason is obvious – weather conditions”.
The Tupolev Tu-22M is a strategic bomber with a variable-sweep wing developed during the Soviet era. It was later followed by several modernized versions, including the Tu-22M3 “Backfire”. Operated by four crew members, this variant can reach speeds above 2,000 km/h and deliver more than 12 tons of ordnance. It was recently deployed in Syria. The one involved in the crash was part of the Long Range Aviation Command, based in Olenya base.