Russian Air Force Tupolev Tu-22 Backfire bomber crashes in kaluga region killing three crew onboard.
According to Russian media, a Tu-22M3 Backfire long-range bomber crashed at Shaykovka airbase, in the Kaluga region, killing the three crew on board.
When preparing for takeoff, the ejection seats were activated by mistake, resulting in the death of the three crew members.
“An ejection system malfunctioned during a planned preparation on the ground for a Tu-22M3 flight at an airfield in the Kaluga region,” Russian news agencies quoted the defence ministry as saying.
A report has said the three crew were catapulted into the air from the aircraft but the height was insufficient to deploy parachutes, leaving them to free fall until they hit the ground sustaining injuries “incompatible with life”.
The cockpit horror came as the engines started ahead of a training flight involving the supersonic long range Tu-22M3 bombers.
At the same time, according to an Interfax source, the aicraft made an emergency landing due to a technical malfunction on board.
This is a developing story. More details will be added as they emerg
The Tupolev Tu-22M is a supersonic, variable-sweep wing, long-range strategic and maritime strike bomber developed by the Tupolev Design Bureau in the 1960s.
During the Cold War, the Tu-22M was operated by the Soviet Air Forces (VVS) in a missile carrier strategic bombing role, and by the Soviet Naval Aviation in a long-range maritime anti-shipping role. Significant numbers remain in service with the Russian Air Force, and as of 2014 more than 100 Tu-22Ms are in use.