Passengers survive after the disappearance of the Antonov An-28

After fearing the worst, all 18 people aboard a Russian Antonov An-28 passenger plane are safe after a crash landing in Siberia. The aircraft, registration RA-28728, belonging to SILA Siberian Light Aviation, was on a flight from Kedrovy to Tomsk in Russia when it suddenly disappeared from radar. At the time of the disappearance, the plane was about 100 nautical miles northwest of Tomsk in western Siberia.

A signal from the aircraft’s emergency locator transmitter (ELT) was picked up near the village of Bashkar, and a search and rescue team was dispatched to the site. When rescuers arrived at the scene, they found the plane upside down. Despite the forced landing, all passengers and three crew members except the pilot, who had a broken leg, survived the landing with only cuts and bruises.

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Maybe it was engine failure

According to Russian media sources, the crew did not report any difficulties, although people on the ground say at least one or both of the plane’s engines had failed. The Russian Emergencies Ministry said 12 people were taken to a hospital in Tomsk by helicopter and the rest were taken by bus. When reporting on the incident, the International News Service Reuters quotes regional governor Sergei Zvachkin saying:

“We all believed in the miracle, and thanks to the professionalism of the pilots, it happened; everyone is alive.”

When reporting on the crash, Reuters quotes TASS sources as saying:

“The AN-28 aircraft overturned during its hard landing. Its nose was damaged as well as its landing gear. The crew was forced to make an emergency landing due to what appears to have been an engine failure, although this is not yet conclusive.”

The plane was 32 years old

This latest incident involving Soviet-era aircraft in the Russian Far East comes just ten days after an Antonov An-26 crashed into a cliff on the Kamchatka Peninsula, killing all 28 people on board. Manufactured in Ukraine during the days of the Soviet Union, Antonov aircraft are still widely used throughout Russia and the former Soviet states.

According to Interfax, the aircraft was built in 1989 and used by Russian flag carrier Aeroflot in Kyrgyzstan before being entered into service by SiLA in 2014. Based at Magadan Airport (GDX) in Sokol in Kyrgyzstan Oblast Magadan, Russia, SiLA operates a fleet of four An-28 and seven Czech-built Let L-410 Turbolet aircraft.


An An-28 crashed in 2012

In 2012, an An-28 operated by Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky Air Enterprise crashed near Palana Airport (UHPL) on the Kamchatka Peninsula, killing ten of the fourteen people on board. Investigators later determined that the plane began its descent too early and struck some trees. It was also discovered that the two pilots of the plane were drunk at the time of the accident.

In recent years, aviation safety in Russia has improved significantly, but incidents involving older aircraft continue to occur in the Russian Far East. Flying to remote parts of Russia like the Far East and the Arctic can be difficult due to weather conditions and lack of services at remote airports.

Have you ever flown in an An-28? If so, let us know what you think of the plane in the comments.