Narrative: An Antonov 72 transport plane crashed some 20 km from Shymkent Airport (CIT), Kazakhstan. All 20 passengers and seven crew members were killed. The airplane was operated by the Kazakhstan Border Guards. Among those killed was acting director of National Security Committee's Border Guard Service, Colonel Turganbek Stambekov. The airplane took off from Astana Airport (TSE) at 16:52 with destination Shymkent Airport (CIT). Shortly after takeoff the autopilot failed. The captain then decided to fly the plane manually. Two minutes and 40 seconds after takeoff the radio altimeter also failed. The flight was continued using barometric altimeters. Nineteen minutes into the flight there was a momentary failure of these altimeters as well, with the altitude dropping from 696 to -1375 metres. Three minutes later the altimeter again suffered a momentary spike, this time from 749 m to 2672 m. En route and during the descent towards Shymkent the flight encountered poor weather with heavy snowfall and limited visibility. During the approach to Shymkent, the captain failed to set the correct pressure for the barometric altimeters. The altitude indicate was therefore off by about 385 metres. The airplane struck the slope of a ravine 21 km short of the runway and broke up.
Weather reported at the time of the accident (18:55 LT / 12:55 UTC) was: UAII 251330Z 29006G11MPS 0900 R28/P2000 +SN OVC004 M06/M06 Q1018 28491040 TEMPO 0500 SN FZFG VV002 RMK QBB130 QFE726/0968 UAII 251300Z 29005MPS 0800 R28/2000 +SN BKN004 OVC010 M03/M03 Q1016 28391040 TEMPO 0500 SN FZFG VV002 RMK QBB120 QFE725/0967 [19:00 LT/ 13:00 UTC: wind 290 degrees at 10 knots; Visibility: 800 m in heavy snow; runway visual range of runway 28: 2000 m; broken clouds at 400 feet AGL, overcast cloud deck at 1000 feet AGL; Temperature: -3.0░C, Dew point: -3.0░C; Pressure: 1016 mb; Temporary changes: visibility 500m in snow and freezing fog; vertical visibility 2 m.] UAII 251230Z 30004MPS 5000 -SN BR OVC004 M02/M02 Q1016 282///45 TEMPO 1000 RASN BR OVC003 RMK QBB120 QFE725/0967
This map shows the airport of departure and the intended destination of the flight. The line between the airports does not display the exact flight path. Distance from Astana Airport to Shymkent Airport as the crow flies is 967 km (605 miles).
This information is not presented as the Flight Safety Foundation or the Aviation Safety Networkĺs opinion as to the cause of the accident. It is preliminary and is based on the facts as they are known at this time.