Date & Time: Dec 30, 1958 at 2153 LT
Type of aircraft:
Landing (descent or approach)
Scheduled Revenue Flight
Pevek – Mys Kosistyy – Khatanga – Moscow
14700 13 16
Crew on board:
Pax on board:
On the leg from Mys Kosistyy to Khatanga of a flight from Pevek to Moscow during the polar night, the aircraft deviated from the prescribed flight path to the left by 38 km. The crew descended prematurely and the twin engine aircraft hit the slope of a hill (340 metres high) located about 65 km from the Khatanga Airport. It came to rest upside down after some 400 metres and caught fire. The rescue teams arrived on the scene a day later, on December 31. A passenger was seriously injured while all 16 other occupants were killed.
The accident was the consequence of navigation errors on part of the flying crew, which caused the aircraft to deviate from the prescribed flight plan by 38 km to the left. The captain started the descent prematurely, causing the aircraft to struck a hill while flying in limited visibility (8 km) due to the night, clouds and snow falls. The decision of the operations to change the navigator at the last minute may have been a contributing factor due to a possible inoperability between the captain and the navigator. Finally, shortcomings were reported in the polar operations and flight organisation.