Russian military plane crashes in explosion with three feared dead

Shocking moment prototype Russian military plane catches fire and crashes in huge explosion with legendary test pilot and two others feared dead

  • It crashed almost one mile from runway at Kubinka airport, Moscow, on Tuesday
  • Footage shows aircraft had right-side engine trouble before tilting and falling
  • Aircraft reportedly flown by legendary Russian test pilot, Nikolai Kuimov, 63
  • Test pilot Dmitry Komarov, 51, and engineer Nikolai Khludeev, 56, also onboard

A shocking video shows the moment a prototype Russian military transport plane crashes and explodes today on a test flight with three people feared dead. 

Footage shows the aircraft had right-side engine trouble before suddenly tilting and falling onto a forest almost one mile from the runway at Kubinka airport, Moscow, on Tuesday. 

A huge fireball and column of smoke rose from the crash site. A rescue operation was underway on Tuesday with the fate of the three crew onboard unclear. 

A shocking video shows the moment a prototype Russian military transport plane crashes and explodes today on a test flight with three people feared dead

Footage shows the aircraft had right-side engine trouble before suddenly tilting and falling onto a forest almost one mile from the runway at Kubinka airport, Moscow, on Tuesday

Reports said the aircraft was being piloted by Nikolai Kuimov, 63, a legendary test pilot, and decorated Hero of the Russian Federation who had flown more than 35 different aircraft types. 

Also on the plane were first class test pilot Dmitry Komarov, 51, and first class test flight engineer Nikolai Khludeev, 56. 

The crash involved the advanced Russian-made Ilyushin Il-112V military transport plane, seen as a key plank in Vladimir Putin’s massive military modernisation now underway. 

‘The aircraft exploded after the fall and is now completely destroyed,’ said an emergency services spokesman.

Reports said the aircraft was being piloted by Nikolai Kuimov, 63, a legendary test pilot, and decorated Hero of the Russian Federation who had flown more than 35 different aircraft types

The crash involved the advanced Russian-made Ilyushin Il-112V military transport plane, seen as a key plank in Vladimir Putin’s massive military modernisation now underway

‘A prototype Il-112V crashed on Tuesday during flights in the Moscow region,’ said a defence sector source.

The plane is a new-age light and versatile transport plane for troops or cargo which was due to be unveiled at Russia’s upcoming Army 2021 Forum, according to United Aircraft Corporation, part of the country’s hi-tech development giant Rostec. 

Mr Kuimov was honoured by Vladimir Putin for ‘his courage and heroism during the testing of aviation equipment’.

He is believed to have steered the burning plane away from residential areas in his final act of heroism. 

Mr Kuimov was honoured by Vladimir Putin for ‘his courage and heroism during the testing of aviation equipment’

Also on the plane was first class test pilot Dmitry Komarov, 51, and it is said the aircraft exploded and was destroyed 

First class test flight engineer Nikolai Khludeev, 56, was onboard the aircraft, which is a new-age light and versatile transport plane for troops or cargo

The first flight of the Il-112V was on March 30, 2019, and design changes were made to the aircraft after this.  

But its makers were preparing serial production of the plane which was due to go into service with the Russian military.

Only yesterday United Aircraft Corporation hired the plane’s expected appearance at the Army-2021 show.


The pilot is believed to have steered the burning plane away from residential areas in his final act of heroism. The plane was seen as a key plank in Vladimir Putin’s massive military modernisation now underway 

‘This is an important event for our factory and for the entire domestic aircraft-building industry,’ said a statement.

‘We are proud that the first Il-112Vmilitary transport plane prototype built at the Voronezh Aviation Enterprise will take part in the country’s key annual military event, the Army-2021 international military-technical forum.

‘The participation in the forum is another serious stage in implementing this programme.’ 

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