Famous Red Army Ensemble Members Die in Plane Crash

Photo of author

(Newswire.net — December 26, 2016) — Sochi, Russia – Russia’s Ministry of Defense airplane with 83 passengers and eight crew members lost contact with air traffic control soon after departure from Russian resort, Sochi, on its way to Syria.

 Russia’s Defense ministry said that fragments of Tu-154 have been found in the Black Sea. The airplane took off from Sochi Adler airport and disappeared from the radar at 5:40am Moscow time, when it was due to check in and declare its position over the Black Sea.

 Among the 91 people onboard the ill-fated Tu-154, there were nine journalists and the world famous Russian Armed forces musicians, The Alexandrov Ensemble.

 The Alexandrov Ensemble musicians and singers were on their way to a New Year’s concert to be held in the Russian air base in Latakia, Syria, the Defense ministry said.

 The Alexandrov Ensemble singers made up the majority of the missing passengers of the Tu-154, RIA news cited the Defense ministry source.

 Reportedly, the airplane departed from Moscow and landed to Sochi for refueling. First initial reports stated that the plane went missing approximately 20 minutes after takeoff, passing over the mountains at the Krasnodar region. However, floating fragments found early morning in the Black sea imply that the plane crashed into the water.

 The Russian Defense Ministry didn’t exclude the possibility of a terrorist attack; however, the focus of the investigation is a technical malfunction or a human error. The report states that it was a military flight, the weather was bad but “favorable” according to aviation standards, so no civilian flights were canceled.

 Russian Defense minister, Sergey Shoygu, is coordinating the search efforts via videoconferencing and Russian president, Vladimir Putin, is getting live updates on the search and rescue, Russia Today reported.

The Tupolev Tu-154 is a three-engine medium-range narrow-body airliner designed to take off and land in the extreme Arctic conditions of Russia’s northern/eastern regions where other airplanes can’t operate, according to Wikipedia.

With a cruising speed of 975 kilometers per hour (606 mph), the Tu-154 is one of the fastest civilian aircrafts in use and has a range of 5,280 kilometers (3,280 mi).

 NATO code-named the Tu-154 “careless” because of its ability to take off from unpaved and gravel airfields with only basic facilities.