Ukrainian Air Force Antonov An-26 Crashes in Eastern Ukraine. At Least 22 Killed in the Incident.

A still from one of the videos posted online after the An-26 crash in Eastern Ukraine. (Image via Twitter)

The aircraft has crashed in the Kharkiv region.

An Antonov An-26 of the Ukrainian Air Force has crashed around 20.50LT on Sept. 25, 2020. The military aircraft came down about 1.2 km from the the runway of Chuhuiv, in the Eastern Kharkiv region.

Officials said 27 people were aboard the An-26, including 7 crew members and 20 cadets of the Ivan Kozhedub National Air Force University located in the city of Kharkiv. At the time of writing, 22 have been confirmed dead, while 2 are hospitalised. The rest are still missing.

Several videos posted online show the airframe engulfed in flames near a highway.

The Antonov An-26 is a twin-engine, high-wing turboprop utility transport aircraft that first flew in 1969. Since then, nearly 1,500 have been built by Russian aircraft company Antonov. In the nearly half-century since the aircraft has been flying it has established a somehow good record for dependability and the ability to operate from undeveloped, rough field airstrips. According to some sources, the Antonov was the airframe with tail code “76” belonging to the 203th Educational Aviation Brigade based at Chuhuiv. It was An-26Sh, a customized variant tailored for navigator trainings.

RT reported that local media have cited military sources who said the plane crashed due to engine malfunction. The pilot allegedly reported one of the engines breaking down shortly before the impact.

About David Cenciotti
David Cenciotti is a journalist based in Rome, Italy. He is the Founder and Editor of “The Aviationist”, one of the world’s most famous and read military aviation blogs. Since 1996, he has written for major worldwide magazines, including Air Forces Monthly, Combat Aircraft, and many others, covering aviation, defense, war, industry, intelligence, crime and cyberwar. He has reported from the U.S., Europe, Australia and Syria, and flown several combat planes with different air forces. He is a former 2nd Lt. of the Italian Air Force, a private pilot and a graduate in Computer Engineering. He has written five books and contributed to many more ones.