Date & Time: May 3, 1973 at 0740 LT
Type of aircraft:
3 34 447 01
Crew on board:
Pax on board:
The airplane departed the Polar Station SP-21 in the early morning on a flight to the North Pole (Arctic region) with six crew members and three scientists (hydrologists) on board, and was used for communications with Soviet submarines cruising in the Arctic zone. The crew found a suitable area to land located about 500 km north of the Queen Elizabeth Islands, NWT. After landing, the scientists proceeded to ice inspection and it was reported that the ice thickness was 47 cm, which was considered as insufficient to leave the aircraft parked for a long period. The decision was taken to leave the area to find another one when the left ski went through the ice, followed shortly later by the right ski. The aircraft was blocked into the ice and impossible to move. Due to the presence of sensible equipments on board, it was decided to destroy the airplane that partially sank. All nine occupants were evacuated two days later by the crew of an Antonov AN-2.