Horrific footage of Tuesday’s crash of a Russian-flagged Tu-22M3 bomber has surfaced on the internet, confirming initial reports that the aircraft broke apart during an attempted landing in Murmansk, a Russian city located north of the Arctic Circle.
The footage clearly shows the blizzard-like conditions at the time of the incident before the bomber appears through the whiteout. It becomes evident almost immediately that the aircraft is coming in too fast before it hits the runway hard, bounces, and starts to come apart. The crash killed two of the bomber’s crew immediately, with a third later succumbing to his injuries while being treated at a nearby hospital.
“The rate of descent is much too high for a landing, this suggests the pilot did not know what his altitude was on finals—visibility was really poor so this was clearly a blind ILS letdown. Not surprise [sic] the jet snapped in half on impact,” one aviation expert told the Defense Blog. “It could be a broken ILS. When you fly blind letdown you follow the ILS indicators to maintain the proper angle of descent and rate of descent. He was descending much too fast—usually once you reach maybe 30 meters altitude, you back off the power and pull the nose back slightly to slow down.”