New Video Shows Russian Tu-22M3 Bomber Overshooting Runway During Take-Off Accident at Shaikavka

Sep 27 2017 - 15 Comments
By Tom Demerly

Russian Tu-22M3 Damaged After Deploying Drag Chute, Overshooting Runway.

A new video has been published of the crash of a Russian Tupolev Tu-22M3 “Backfire” on Sept. 15, 2017. The heavy bomber, said to be near maximum take-off weight at the time of the accident according to Russian language reports, ran off the end of the runway at Shaikavka Airbase during Zapad 2017 exercise. The video was released today by the media outlet “Vzglyad”, a Russian-language online news source. The aircraft is attributed to the 52nd Guards Heavy Bomber Aviation Regiment.

One Russian language news outlet quoted a “high-ranking source” as saying, “The cause of the accident was the failure of speed sensors during the take-off, resulting in the crew decided to stop taking off.” There have been no official statements released about the cause of the accident. The four crew members on board the large supersonic strategic bomber were not injured in the accident.

This is the third similar incident reported in Russian media during take-off of a Tu-22M3 bomber. The first two incidents were less serious since the aircraft involved were at lower take-off weights and could stop short of the end of the runway.

Tu-22M3 RF-94233 in the grass after running off the runway at an airbase in western Russia. (Image credit: RuAF)

The Russian Tupolev Tu-22M3 can be compared to the U.S. B-1B heavy bomber. Both aircraft are supersonic and use variable geometry swept wings. The Tu-22M3 however, is a twin-engine aircraft compared to the four engines on the B-1B of the U.S. Air Force. The two aircraft are of roughly similar size with the Tu-22M3 being slightly smaller than it’s U.S. counterpart, the B-1B.

The Tu-22M3 and M3M variants are in wide service in Russia, with over 80 reported in flying with the Russian Air Force and more than 40 in use with Russian Naval Aviation as long-range maritime patrol, surveillance and attack aircraft. The naval variant of the aircraft became famous in the West following the 1991 release of the fictional best-seller The Sum of All Fears by late author Tom Clancy. It was followed by a feature film of the same name in 2002. In the fictional story a group of Tu-22M3s launch a cruise missile attack on a U.S. aircraft carrier in the Atlantic during an international crisis between the former Soviet Union and the United States.

  • leroy

    Check the pilot’s blood alcohol levels. I’ll bet 100:1 they were drinking some cheap vodka less than 12 hours before touching the throttles. Russian pilots are not known for their self-discipline as proven by many low-altitude flyby stunts. No not done for training, but to impress some ground personnel watching on airfield runways. I’ll bet ya they’re all drinking!

    • LOL!!!. I’m late. it’s funny because as soon as i finished to watch that video I was about to write something like “less vodka and more (still to invent) ” . may be I lack a bit of fantasy :P

  • Jon National

    I’m impressed it managed to stop.

  • Nied

    Can’t say I’m very impressed with the preparedness of Russian forces shown in this exercise. You don’t hear about this type of thing happening at Red Flag.

  • Andrew Tubbiolo

    There is some progress in history. Had this been the USSR we would have never have seen this. Kudos to the Russians for being open about this. Looks like the pilots reacted pretty fast. In quick succession you can see the chute deploy, the engine heat plumes go away, and the dust pall from what must be the brake shoes. You can also see them pumping the brakes just before they leave the runway with more dust palls from the shoes. Also they did what looks like the right thing by keeping a ‘nose up’ attitude on the elevator. Between that control input and the chute that would put more weight on the mains and help minimize forces on the nose gear, which as can be seen held up for quite some distance.

    That runway is 10,000 ft long. I’m somewhat surprised they were so short of runway to run out on. I would expect that by 6,000 ft if they are not at V1, it’s time to abort takeoff, esp with no thrust reversal.

  • Rob Annable

    My brakes are still worse.

  • even if it’s an enemy bomber, it didn’t deserve that.

  • Mike F.


  • Holztransistor

    The probability that this happens with a fully loaded airplane is high. Even on normal flights, the pilots sometimes have to dump fuel to lower the weight for a landing. Otherwise the plane could suffer structural damage to the internal structure or landing gear if the maximum landing weight is exceeded.

  • Callsign Vega

    Wow, wonder what forced those pilots to do such a late aborted takeoff. Speed sensors? They must have obviously thought that getting airborne would be more dangerous than doing an aborted takeoff with very little runway left. Didn’t help that one of the drogue chutes didn’t fully deploy.

  • leroy

    While Russia struggles to master even this old technology, the pace of U.S. advance quickens – sure to leave Moscow’s dictator’s mouth agape with fear:

    Lockheed Martin hails ‘hypersonic revolution’ amid claims it has begun secret tests of Mach 6 SR-72 update to Blackbird spy plane

    – SR-72 will be a strike and reconnaissance aircraft that tops Mach 6
    – Believed the first prototype craft has already been tested

    “Lockheed Martin’s secretive Skunk Works unit is already testing a radical hypersonic update of the long-retired Mach 3 SR-71 Blackbird spy plane, it has been claimed.

    According to Aviation Week, a technology demonstrator, believed to be an unmanned subscale aircraft, was observed flying into the U.S. Air Force’s Plant 42 at Palmdale, where Skunk Works is headquartered, in July.

    The SR-72 hypersonic plane will be a strike and reconnaissance aircraft that tops Mach 6, and the firm has been working on the project since the early 2000s.”

    lol! Russia relies on the old, outdated Tu-95, as demonstrated by its long-range surveillance missions, while the U.S. is now flying an aircraft that can exceed Mach 6! American superiority in all areas military is undeniable. Russia can’t even manufacture a Gen 5 fighter. Kinda pathetic.

    Russia would do anything to excel in science, technology and manufacturing like America can. Too bad they never will catch up. Now tell me – where do YOU live? I’ll have something to say about your country. But warning – you may not like it. Truth sometimes hurts one’s pride.

    • Ethan Mclean

      “while the U.S. is now flying an aircraft that can exceed Mach 6” – dude, lay off the drugs :DD Its hilarious how you attempt to glorify the US yet only manage to shame it :) …unless your target audience are uneducated hillbillys ;D

  • Andrew Tubbiolo

    I have it on good authority Andrew is a pilot, and was at the controls of two different aircraft just a few hours ago today. :) I’m just a civilian pilot scratching for flight time in any machine I can get my grubby hands on.

  • trap3400

    thats the point being made by the article, mentioning a Tom Clancy novel in which Soviet Tu22’s attack a US ship
    “look an enemy bomber crashed” lol

  • trap3400

    thats the point being made by the article, mentioning a Tom Clancy novel in which Soviet Tu22’s attack a US ship
    “look an enemy bomber crashed” lol