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

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.

About Tom Demerly
Tom Demerly is a feature writer, journalist, photographer and editorialist who has written articles that are published around the world on,, Outside magazine, Business Insider, We Are The Mighty, The Dearborn Press & Guide, National Interest, Russia’s government media outlet Sputnik, and many other publications. Demerly studied journalism at Henry Ford College in Dearborn, Michigan. Tom Demerly served in an intelligence gathering unit as a member of the U.S. Army and Michigan National Guard. His military experience includes being Honor Graduate from the U.S. Army Infantry School at Ft. Benning, Georgia (Cycle C-6-1) and as a Scout Observer in a reconnaissance unit, Company “F”, 425th INF (RANGER/AIRBORNE), Long Range Surveillance Unit (LRSU). Demerly is an experienced parachutist, holds advanced SCUBA certifications, has climbed the highest mountains on three continents and visited all seven continents and has flown several types of light aircraft.


  1. 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

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

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