THREE aircraft crew died on a Russian nuclear bomber after the ejector seat accidentally triggered and their parachutes didn’t open, say military c
THREE aircraft crew died on a Russian nuclear bomber after the ejector seat accidentally triggered and their parachutes didn’t open, say military chiefs.
The cockpit horror came as the engines started ahead of a training flight involving the supersonic long range Tu-22M3 bombers.
Three people have been killed after the ejection system of a Tu-22M3 bomber aircraft went off[/caption]
It is not believed the plane was loaded with nuclear weapons at Shaikovka military airfield at the time of the fatal accident, some 200 miles southwest of Moscow.
The ejector seat system was reported to have triggered while the plane was preparing for departure.
The regiment commander – sitting in the instructor’s seat – was among the dead after the three were thrown from the plane shortly before intended takeoff.
The Russian defence minister confirmed the deaths of three crew members in the incident.
The altitude was “too low for the parachutes to work, and three crew members have received fatal injuries when they landed,” the ministry said in a statement, reports Russia Today.
Earlier reports said the a squadron of Tupolev Tu-22M3 (NATO reporting name Backfire-C) had been on a training exercise in Kaluga region.
Pilots from the squadron were recently given Covid jabs to be able to participate in Russia’s May 9 Victory Day parade, marking the end of the Second World War.
Three years ago a Tu-22M3 broke in two and erupted in flames as it crash landed in the Arctic .
Earlier, a Tu-22M3 crashed in summer 2004 in Novgorod region, killing all four crew members.
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The Tupolev bomber – an aircraft in service since the Soviet era – can strike targets 4,350 miles from base, and is a key war plane for potential deployment against the West.
It has a four-strong crew.