Dramatic video shows Russian Tu-95 bomber exploding after left wing erupts in a ball of flame during take off

Jan 21 2016 - 20 Comments

A minute-long footage shows the Tu-95MS crashing during take off at Ukrainka airbase in Russia’s Far East.

As we reported last year, the Russian Ministry of Defense suspended all the Russian Air Force Tu-95 Bear flights after a strategic bomber suffered an incident in Russia’s Far East on Jun. 8, 2015: the +60-year old Russian four-engine turboprop-powered strategic bomber and missile platform skidded off the runway and exploded after the left wing caught fire during the take off run at Ukrainka airfield.

As a consequence of the incident, the second involving a Bear in two years (followed, on Jul. 14, 2015 by another incident), two of the five-man aircrew were reportedly killed (only one casualty according to the first reports.)

Now, a video of the incident has been released. It shows the aircraft’s left wing catching fire during the take off roll, causing the aircraft to steer off runway and explode.

Along with the two Tu-95s, the last Summer’s Russian crashes include a Su-24 Fencer, two Mig-29 Fulcrums and a modern Su-34 Fullback.

H/T ‎Miguel Vargas-Caba‎ for the heads-up

  • Vadim Volkov

    According to Russian reports, it was some piece of landing gear that fell off and pierced the fuel tank – very much like the last Concorde accident

    • Marco

      mmm, with the small difference that the Concorde fuel tank was rather punctured from a part coming off a preceding DC-10 “flying wreckage” of an American airline. It was not one of its parts, but rather junk left on the runway by the preceding departing wreckage.

      • Larry J

        Not exactly. The piece of metal from the previous plane cut the tires on the Concorde’s left main wheel bogey. The Concorde was moving very fast and the tires disintegrated. Pieces of the tires struck the underside of the wings and ruptured the fuel tanks.

      • Will-L

        NOTHING punctured the Concorde fuel tanks. The wear strip from the DC-10 ruptured Flight 4590’s tires, which then disintegrated, and a piece of tire debris hit the aircraft, the resulting shockwave ruptured a fuel tank and fuel leak.

        • Marco

          ok, still not something due to the Concorde loosing parts, but rather to the preceding piece of junk called DC-10 dropping its parts on take off.
          So there is not much to share with this incident, regarding the cause.

      • Ray

        Actually the Air France Mech that repaired the left wheel bogey left a spacer on his workbench causing the bogey to fail during the takeoff roll. Check the facts not the news reports of the time. The spacer was still on the guys workbench when checked after the accident and no replacement was found in the wreckage. The strip of metal from the DC10 was well down the runway from where the Concorde veered off the runway taking out the lights..

  • Gibson

    Weird, but look at the timming of wing light. The explosion happends exactly at the moment the light went on. Looks more like electrical malfunction to me.

  • Gibson

    Look at the timming of the explosion. It happens exactly as the left wing light should light up. The lights works just fine before that moment, but exactly as it should light up again, the explosion happens. Looks more like a electrical malfunction too me.

    • sferrin

      Clearly you’ve never seen Russians flying at air shows. ;-)

  • vegass04 .

    So, even the Russian equipment fails now and then. Judging by the media one would think that Russian jets, tanks, missiles are perfect, without a fault, always perform and never fail (unlike the American overpriced piece of junk). Hmm interesting.

    • Clarence ‘Sticky’ Merkle

      “the media”? What media are you watching? Pravda?

    • Mark Jhorr

      Actually the media gives Russian gear a bad reputation. Yet strangely their rubbish is maintaining a very high operational tempo in Syria much to the chagrin of the West.

  • B-Sabre

    Ouch! I would note that it looks like the wing exploded before it left the runway. Damn.

  • BernardP

    “incident” is quite an understatement…

  • Tchernowitzer

    Such a symbolic name of the airbase where this metal scrap had blown.. It is a bad-ass repercussion on invaders of Ukrainian Crimea and Donbas. it’s not over yet. There are so much more coming next. So, get ready, ivans-the-fools.. You were warned many times to avert from doing stupid things. Now boomerang is hitting back

    • Petrovic Dusan

      Well ,not really, as that word”Ukraina” from “Okraina”means, like, the end of something, like end of a major area of Russia,which can be in just about any direction; for example, Kamchatka is also Okraina of Russia;or Northern part of Siberia etc etc
      However, the name for western half took hold,and even became the name of republic of USSR and now independent country.
      One should check carefully the origins of the name of this aircraft base.
      And what concerns” invasion of Ukrainian Crimea” it is ridiculous, 90% of people therr are ethnic Russians.
      Crimea was always Russia until 1954 when, illegally N.Hrushev,not asking anyone, signed it of to Ukrainian Soviet republic.There was no referendum.No law ever predicted that this is possible. Yet he did it.
      Millions of Russians through history lost their life defending Crimea from foreign invaders (British, French, Turkish, Germans) they are certainly not going to let NATO in…lol

    • OR

      really.. symbolic? symbolic is that they released this video and not trying to hide this is symbolic indeed.. read more history about Crimea it is never been Ukranian, nor Southern or Northern parts of Moldova that are called Ukraine at the moment, all thanks to mister Khrushchev and his ‘visionary ideas’.. this is a tragedy created out of social, intellectual you name it vacum that socialism brought to USSR.. So back to Crimea – speaking in your language yes the boomerang is hitting back but it has not been thrown by Russia alone and unfortunately many people of different nations are in its way back..

  • Gelsomino Pasqualino

    If I was them, I’d be looking closely at the left two turboprop engines’ compressor section for missing blades. Slinging one through a fuel tank would be one way to get such an explosion.

  • Mark Jhorr

    RIP to the airmen who died. The TU-95 is still a magnificent beast after all those years.

  • Brad Hayes

    Hope the crew got clear of it. Jesus. Sorry to see this happen to any crew. Damn