An Ilyushin Il-76 cargo plane crashed in Ryazan, a Central Russian city, on Friday, June 24.  Four of the nine crew members were reportedly killed immediately,  while the remaining five were injured.

Il-76 Crashed

According to the reports, the Russian military cargo plane was on a training flight when it suffered an engine malfunction after refueling at Ryazan’s Dyagilevo airfield some 124 miles southeast of Moscow. The Il-76 was from the Western Russian city of Belgorod and heading to the southern Urals city of Orenburg. The regional government’s crisis response team said,

The crisis response team of the regional government informs that, according to preliminary information, four people were killed when a plane crashed near the Mikhailovskoye highway in the city of Ryazan.

The five people who sustained injuries of varying degrees were admitted to hospitals to receive the medical assistance they needed. Later, Russian News Agency TASS reported that one of the crewmembers with severe injuries died, raising the death toll to five. Video footage showed a huge chunk of the plane’s engine charred and still smoking at its crash site near some houses in the area.

The crash resulted from the plane hitting a power line and slamming into a field near some residential houses just outside the city of Ryazan. A fire broke out but was immediately extinguished, according to reports. The accident also resulted in an electric power supply interruption in several streets near the area, although it had been restored at 17:00 Moscow time. The Russian Defense Ministry explained,

While performing a training flight with no cargo on board, the crew detected an engine malfunction and decided to perform an off-runway landing.

According to a local resident who witnessed what happened, reported by Fontanka, “The hum went unnatural. I tell my wife: ‘Probably the plane crashed.’ I go out – everything is already blazing here. It was at the beginning of the fourth [hour of the morning].”

A report identified those who died in the accident: Vladimir Petrushin, Nikolai Gorbunov, Dmitry Andreev, and Stepan P. The identity of the other crew members had not been revealed yet as of writing.

The Ilyushin Il-76 is a USSR medium-range military transport aircraft used to drop paratroopers, combat materials, and armaments, like transport during disaster relief operations and medium-sized battle tanks. It entered service in 1974, and since then, more than 500 of these aircraft have been produced.

Frequent Plane Crash

The incident is the third military plane crash that Russia has suffered just recently. A few days prior, a Su-25 military aircraft worth £9 million also crashed in Rostov Province, southern Russia, killing its pilot. The cause of the crash is still unknown, but the Russian Western Military district said it might be due to a “technical malfunction.” They also said that the plane was on a training flight when it occurred. There are suspicions that the plane was shot down since the incident happened near the Ukrainian border.

A week before that, a £41 million-worth Su-34 bomber also spiraled down. This time reportedly shot down by the Ukrainian Air Force in the city of Izyum, near Severodonetsk, where some recent fightings commenced.

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The Ukrainian Force issued a statement regarding what happened,

On June 12, at about 10am a Russian Su-34 bomber-carrier was shot down by anti-aircraft missile forces of the Ukrainian Air Force in the region of Izyum in the Kharkiv region. The Russian aircraft operated in pairs, attacking the positions of the Ukrainian defenders. After entering the defence zone, one of the hostile aircraft changed course, while the other pilots decided to try their share.

Despite having just entered service in 2014 and its lackluster performance fighting against Ukraine’s MiG-29s introduced back in 1982, the Su-34 is considered one of Russia’s elite fighter aircraft.

Previously, SOFREP has written how Ben Wallace of the British Defense Ministry found out that Russian fighter planes were using rudimentary GPS receivers reportedly “taped to the dashboards” because their built-in navigation systems were of poor quality and unreliable. The Garmin GPSs clamped to the dashboard were regarded by Russian Nationalist Politician and Soviet Air Force veteran Viktor Alksnis as “an ordinary tourist satellite navigator sold in any electronics store.”