Date & Time: Feb 28, 1973 at 1859 LT
Type of aircraft:
Scheduled Revenue Flight
Crew on board:
Pax on board:
Aircraft flight hours:
Aircraft flight cycles:
Shortly after takeoff from Semipalatinsk Airport, while climbing to a height of 100 meters, the airplane lots height then struck the ground in a relative flat attitude and crashed in a huge explosion in a snow covered field located 1,457 meters past the runway end. The aircraft was totally destroyed and all 32 occupants were killed, among them 11 female members of the Kyzylorda Basketball Team accompanied by their coach and one judge.
The exact cause of the accident could not be determined with certainty. Eyewitnesses among them the air traffic controller working in the tower saw a huge flash in the sky prior to the accident. Various analysis did not find any trace of explosives.