- Russian Emergency Ministry’s Antonov An-26 aircraft disappeared from flight radars near Khabarovsk.
- The aircraft had a flights crew of six people on board and was performing a technical flight.
- Searches are complicated by the darkness and unfavorable weather, according to the ministry press service.
Press service of the Russian Emergencies Ministry confirmed that its An-26 plane disappeared from flight radars 38 kilometers (23.5 miles) from the Khabarovsk city airport, around the territory of Khekhtsir Nature Reserve in the Khabarovsk region in Russia’s Far East.
The aircraft had a flight crew of six people on board and was performing a technical flight, according to the press service.
“At 11:45 Moscow time, the Crisis Management Center of Russia’s Emergency Ministry in the Khabarovsk region received a message that Antonov An-26 aircraft disappeared from flight radars 38 km from the Khabarovsk city airport, presumably in the area of Khekhtsir Nature Reserve. According to preliminary data, there was a flight crew of six people aboard,” the press service said, adding that the plane was performing a technical flight.
“Searches are complicated by the dark time of the day and unfavorable weather conditions,” the ministry added.
More than 70 rescuers and a reconnaissance helicopter had deployed to the suspected crash site.
Accidents involving dilapidated aircraft in Russia’s wild and remote Far East are still very common.
In August, eight people were killed when a Mi-8 helicopter, with 16 people on board, crashed into a lake on the volcanic Kamchatka peninsula due to poor visibility.
In July, an airliner with 22 passengers and six crew members on board crashed as it was about to land in Kamchatka, leaving no survivors.
The Antonov An-26 (NATO reporting name: Curl) is a twin-engine turboprop civilian and military transport aircraft, designed and produced in the Soviet Union from 1969 to 1986.
The An-26 is also manufactured without a license agreement in China by the Xian Aircraft factory as the Y-14, later changed to be included in the Xian Y7 series.