Editor’s Note: The Tupolev Tu-95 Bear, in all of its various configurations, as a very common sight for American and European fighter pilots. It is the bomber type seen most sniffing at the door of various chunks of NATO airspace, and has been around for the past six decades. Much like our own aging fleet of warplanes, maintenance issues have plagued the type and there have been fatal incidents in recent years as a result.
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.
David Cenciotti’s original article on the Aviationist can be found here.
(Featured photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons)