2002 Khankala Mi-26 crash

2002 Khankala Mi-26 crash

Infobox Airliner accident
name=Khankala Mi-26 crash
Date=August 19, 2002
Type=shoulder-launched missile
Site=Khankala, Chechnya
Aircraft Type=Mil Mi-26
Operator=Russian Armed Forces
Tail Number=

On August 19, 2002, a Russian-made Igla shoulder-fired surface-to-air missile hit an overloaded Mil Mi-26 helicopter, causing it to crash-land in a minefield and burn at the main military base at Khankala near the capital city of Grozny, Chechnya. A total of 127 Russian Army troops and crew from the Russian Air Force base at Mozdok were killed in the crash, the greatest loss of life in the history of helicopter aviation and one of the worst disasters in Russian military history.

A Day of Mourning was declared by the Russian President Vladimir Putin in connection with the catastrophe, which the media called "the second Kursk". [ [http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/world/europe/2206541.stm Russia to mourn helicopter dead] , BBC News, 21 August, 2002] The separatist news agency Kavkaz Center described the crash as the "greatest act of sabotage by Chechen fighters in two years". [ [http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/2204505.stm Russia outraged by Chechnya crash] , BBC News, 20 August, 2002] The crash led to the suspension of the Russian army's aviation commander, Vitaly Pavlov.

Reprisals at Khankala

The Russian military responded to the loss of the Mi-26 (as well as two other helicopters that were shot down at approximately the same time) by destroying an entire residential area near Khankala in the outskirts of Grozny since it was believed that the surface-to-air missiles that destroyed the helicopters were fired from one of the many dilapidated apartment blocks that dotted the area.Fact|date=August 2008

Some military officials said the Chechens who were left homeless as a result of the attack were themselves partly to blame, because they had failed to report that militants were preparing attacks from their houses. The Russian Army spokesmen, Ilya Shabalkin, reported that the action was carried out with the goal of preventing rebels from using the area to lay ambushes close to the Khankala military base. It was also announced that five Chechens "suspected of terrorist ties" were killed during the operation.Fact|date=August 2008


The helicopter was designed to carry about 80 troops, while the one that was destroyed was actually carrying 147. The commander in charge of the helicopter, Lieutenant-Colonel Alexander Kudyakov, was convicted of negligence and violating flight regulations.

A Chechen who reportedly helped to shoot down the helicopter, a 27-year old Grozny resident named Doku Dzhantemirov, was found guilty of "planning and carrying out an act of terror" and was sentenced to life imprisonment in April 2004. At his trial, Dzhantemirov maintained that he was not "a terrorist" as accused, instead describing himself as "a soldier of the state of the Ichkeria."


Technically speaking, the helicopter was not overloaded with around 150 people onboard (weighing no more than 12-13 tons). A standard Mi-26 can hover with a 27-ton load, and can carry even greater loads in dynamic flight (getting airborne with a take-off run). The FAI world record of 40,240 kilograms (~43 tons) is held by a Mi-26 prototype from 1985.

The main reason for disaster was negligence on part of the commanders. As a strategic asset, a Mi-26 giant helicopter must be accompanied by two Mil Mi-24 gunships on every flight over potentially enemy territory. The air cover will provide active and passive countermeasures against heat-seeking missiles and suppress enemy fighters on the ground using missiles and gunfire, thus protecting the transport craft. In the Khankala incident, the Mi-26 flew without any Mi-24 cover, alone and defenseless.

When the MANPAD impacted the helicopter, causing one engine to explode, the crew crash-landed their Mi-26 in the middle of a minefield protecting the destination airport against rebel infiltration. Upon the hard touchdown, one of the mines detonated, and the combined power of impact and blast broke off the Mi-26's massive tailboom. This structure, which is itself about the size of a UH-1 Iroquois helicopter, blocked the Mi-26's rear loading doors, and the ramp could not be extended. Survivors were forced to abandon the burning wreckage via a small swing-door located in the forward right fuselage, but many did not make it there and died in the fire.


External links

* [http://www.gazeta.ru/2002/11/06/ArmyrazesChe.shtml Army razes Chechen homes to protect helicopters] , Gazeta.ru, November 11, 2002
* [http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/3009015.stm Officer charged over Chechen air crash] , BBC News, 7 May, 2003
* [http://www.guardian.co.uk/international/story/0,3604,1206452,00.html Chechen gets life for killing 127 Russian soldiers] , "The Guardian", April 30, 2004

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Игры ⚽ Нужна курсовая?

Look at other dictionaries:

  • 2002 Pirelli Tower plane crash — Milan Plane Crash Most damaged part of the Pirelli Tower shortly after the crash. Accident summary Date …   Wikipedia

  • 2002 Tampa plane crash — The plane s tail hangs from the Bank of America building in Tampa, Florida. Occurrence summary Date January 5, 2002 …   Wikipedia

  • 2002 Überlingen mid-air collision — Bashkirian Airlines Flight 2937 DHL Flight 611 CGI rendering of DHL Flight 611 moments before colliding with Bashkirian Airlines Flight 2937 Accident summary Date …   Wikipedia

  • 2007 Shatoy Mi-8 crash — Infobox Airliner accident name=2007 Shatoy Mi 8 crash Date=April 27 2007 Type=Pilot error or shot down Site=Near Shatoy, Chechnya, Russia Fatalities=20 Injuries= Aircraft Type=Mil Mi 8 Operator=Russian Ground Forces Tail Number= Passengers=17… …   Wikipedia

  • List of Russian aircraft losses in the Second Chechen War — The following is an incomplete list of Russian aircraft losses in the Second Chechen War. It includes both helicopters and fixed wing aircraft. The general Russian aircraft losses 1999 2002 consisted of about 45 helicopters (23 Mi 8, 16 Mi 24,… …   Wikipedia

  • Man-portable air-defense systems — An SA 7 in use Man portable air defense systems (MANPADS or MPADS) are shoulder launched surface to air missiles (SAMs). They are typically guided weapons and are a threat to low flying aircraft, especially helicopters. Contents …   Wikipedia

  • Mil Mi-26 — Mi 26 Russian Air Force Mi 26 Role Heavy lift cargo helicopter …   Wikipedia

  • China Airlines Flight 611 — CG rendering of B 18255. Accident summary Date 25 May 2002 …   Wikipedia

  • Crossair Flight 850 — A Crossair Saab 2000, similar to the accident aircraft Accident summary Date 10 July 2002 …   Wikipedia

  • China Northern Airlines Flight 6136 — Occurrence summary Date May 7, 2002 (2002 05 07) Type In flight arson …   Wikipedia

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”