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Last updated: 17 May 2021
Date:Tuesday 11 October 2016
Type:Silhouette image of generic AN26 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Antonov An-26-100
Operator:Polyarnaya Aviatsiya
Registration: RA-26660
MSN: 8008
First flight: 1979
Total airframe hrs:34490
Crew:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 6
Passengers:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 27
Total:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 33
Aircraft damage: Substantial
Aircraft fate: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Location:0,3 km (0.2 mls) from Belaya Gora Airport (BGN) (   Russia)
Phase: Landing (LDG)
Nature:Domestic Scheduled Passenger
Departure airport:Yakutsk Airport (YKS/UEEE), Russia
Destination airport:Belaya Gora Airport (BGN/UESG), Russia
An Antonov 26-100 aircraft, operated by Polyarnaya Aviatsiya (Polar Airlines) sustained substantial damage in a landing accident near Belaya Gora Airport, Russia.
Flight 203 had departed Yakutsk Airport on regular service to Belaya Gora Airport. Upon departure the visibility at the destination was reported to be 1900 meters, which was below the 4000 m minima.
During the approach to Belaya Gora, the crew was able to observe the airport and visibility at the time was above minima. Then snowfall began limiting visibility at the airport.
At 16:30 hours, eight minutes before landing, the meteorologist issued a special weather report with a visibility of 1900 m and a wind from 350° at 5 m/s, gusts 10 m/s, moderate snow, 5-7 octas cloud layer at 330 m. This information was not passed on to the crew.
The aircraft landed hard on the snowy floodplain of the Indigirka River, about 230 m to the left and 390 m short of the runway. The right hand main landing gear collapsed as the aircraft rolled out over uneven terrain, causing the propeller to separate after striking the ground. The fuselage and nose section also suffered substantial damage. The aircraft came to rest 720 m after touchdown, 350 m to the left of the runway centreline.

Probable Cause:

Probable cause (translated from Russian):
An aircraft accident with An-26-100 RA-26660 aircraft occurred during the day, when landing in conditions of snow and in meteorological conditions below the established minimum of the aerodrome (240x4000), which led to a crew error in the recognition of the runway with rolled snow, landing on the floodplain of the river Indigirka with significant damage to the aircraft during the run.

Most likely, the accident was the result of a combination of the following factors:
- the lack of an ADF during an NDB approach to land;
- violation by the tower controller, by not informing the crew of the actual visibility at the runway (1,900 m) below the established meteorological minimum (the dispatcher only transmitted information about the snow charge and proposed to fly over the strip);
- the lack of information about the actual visibility at the aerodrome below the established meteorological minimum (the last value transmitted by the dispatcher corresponded to the minimum);
- the presence of a variety of landmarks (abandoned vessels, ship cranes, fuel shipment complex, etc.) in the snow, which may have been taken by the crew for the runway markers, at a distance of 1000-730 m from the runway
- a transitional period of the year and, as a consequence, the presence on the underlying surface of numerous "bald spots" that make it difficult to visualize and find the runway with rolled snow (for the crew this was the first flight to this aerodrome in winter conditions after the summer season);
- incomplete use by the crew of navigation aids, which led to a lack of proper monitoring of the position of the aircraft relative to the glide path;
- absence of conditions for visual observation from the workplace of the controller in the control tower of aircraft approaching with a heading of 71°.

Accident investigation:
Investigating agency: MAK
Status: Investigation completed
Duration: 293 days (10 months)
Accident number: RA-26660
Download report: Final report




photo of Antonov-An-26-100-RA-26660
accident date: 11-10-2016
type: Antonov An-26-100
registration: RA-26660
photo of Antonov-An-26-100-RA-26660
Accident diagram
photo of Antonov-An-26-100-RA-26660
Approach profile (blue) and standard pattern (red)

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 Yakutsk Airport to Belaya Gora Airport as the crow flies is 1035 km (647 miles).

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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