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Last updated: 26 March 2019
Date:Sunday 25 December 2016
Type:Silhouette image of generic T154 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Tupolev Tu-154B-2
Operator:Russian Air Force
Registration: RA-85572
C/n / msn: 83A-572
First flight: 1983
Total airframe hrs:6689
Engines: 3 Kuznetsov NK-8-2U
Crew:Fatalities: 8 / Occupants: 8
Passengers:Fatalities: 84 / Occupants: 84
Total:Fatalities: 92 / Occupants: 92
Aircraft damage: Destroyed
Aircraft fate: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Location:1,6 km (1 mls) SW off Adler (   Russia)
Phase: Initial climb (ICL)
Departure airport:Adler/Sochi Airport (AER/URSS), Russia
Destination airport:Latakia-Khmeimim Air Base (LTK/OSLK), Syria
A Tupolev 154B-2 operated by the Russian Air Force was destroyed when it impacted the waters of the Black Sea shortly after takeoff from Adler/Sochi Airport. Wreckage was found at a depth of 50 to 70 metres.
The aircraft carried reporters and the Alexandrov Ensemble, an official army choir of the Russian armed forces, to the Russian air base in Syria. The aircraft originated from Chkalovsky Air Base near Moscow and made a refueling stop at Adler.
The airplane took off from runway 20 at 05:25 hours local time. During climbout the aircraft made a U-turn back towards the coastline and disappeared off radar screens.
The captain had probably lost spatial orientation while climbing out over sea.

Loss of situational awareness
Controlled Flight Into Terrain (CFIT) - Water

» Russian Ministry of Defense

METAR Weather report:
02:00 UTC / 05:00 local time:
URSS 250200Z 07005MPS 9999 BKN033 OVC083 05/01 Q1019 R06/090070 R02/090070 NOSIG RMK R02/05004MPS MT OBSC QFE763

02:30 UTC / 05:30 local time:
URSS 250230Z 06004MPS 9999 BKN033 OVC083 05/01 Q1019 R06/090070 R02/090070 NOSIG RMK R02/05004MPS MT OBSC QFE763

03:00 UTC / 03:30 local time:
URSS 250300Z 07005MPS 9999 SCT022 OVC083 05/01 Q1018 R06/090070 R02/090070 NOSIG RMK R02/05004MPS MT OBSC QFE763


photo of Tupolev Tu-154B-2 RA-85572
photo of Tupolev Tu-154B-2 RA-85572
RA-85572 while on lease to Korsar, in Aeroflot colours
Add your photo of this accident or aircraft

Aircraft history
date registration operator remarks
February 1983 CCCP-85572 Soviet Air Force first flight
28 April 1994 RA-85572 Russian Air Force new registration
1 Nov. 1994 RA-85572 Korsar leased
6 June 1997 RA-85572 Iron Dragonfly leased
18 June 1997 RA-85572 Russian Air Force returned
19 Jan 2004 RA-85572 Aeroflot leased
1 March 2005 RA-85572 Russian Air Force returned

» source: Soviet Transports

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 Adler/Sochi Airport to Latakia-Khmeimim Air Base as the crow flies is 952 km (595 miles).
Accident location: Approximate; accuracy within a few kilometers.

This information is not presented as the Flight Safety Foundation or the Aviation Safety Network’s opinion as to the cause of the accident. It is preliminary and is based on the facts as they are known at this time.
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Tupolev Tu-154

  • 1026 built
  • 71st loss
  • 40th fatal accident
  • 17th worst accident
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  • 20th worst accident
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