An L-410 turboprop airplane carrying parachutists in Russia’s Kemerovo Region crashed today killing 2 pilots, one instructor and one parachutist besides injuring eight more people.
The airplane crashed soon after take-off, according to local reports, TASS reported quoting the Emergencies Ministry’s Department.
"An L-410 aircraft took off from the Tanai airfield and then tumbled on the left wing," a spokesman for the local emergencies ministry said. "The aircraft carried 17 parachute jumpers. Seven dead and eight wounded."
The Czech built L-410 (also called LET-410) is designed to operate under harsh conditions and extreme weather. In Russia, it is used both for scheduled flights by regional airlines and as a special purpose flight such as to carry parachutists and release them from a designated height.
According to simpleflying.com, the Let-410 has experienced 118 accidents with 428 fatalities (without specifying over how many years). While these numbers may sound outrageous, the Let-410 Turoblet works where most aircraft cannot, in rugged mountains and jungles, often landing on gravel or grass runways. The website also says that many of these accidents were attributed to pilot error in subsequent air accident investigations.
L-410 aircraft grounded in Russia
Following the accident, all L-410 aircraft have been grounded by DOSAAF, Russia’s aviation regulator for flying clubs, "By order of the chairman of DOSAAF (organization for the regulation and management of flying clubs in Russia), all flights of aircraft of the L-410 type have been suspended pending an investigation," DOSAAF said in a statement quoted by Interfax.
"According to preliminary information, there was a technical breakdown. The crew took all measures to save passengers," the organization said.
According to the DOSAAF, there were 17 skydiving athletes and 2 crew members on board. "As a result of the hard landing, 4 people were killed - 2 pilots, one instructor and one parachutist," the press statement said.