An investigation has been launched after an Antonov AN-24 operated by Angara Airlines ended up severely damaged this morning. The airplane, traveling from Irkutsk to Ust-Kut in Russia, suffered a wing strike on landing, reportedly while struggling against poor weather conditions.
The aircraft was operating flight 2G-8275 today with 44 passengers and four crew onboard. It was approaching Ust-Kut in the mid-morning when, according to reports, the conditions were light rain with a 9 – 10 knot southwesterly wind. Cloud cover was noted to be heavy in the region.
Whether that was a contributing factor to the accident is a matter for the investigation committee. The aircraft appears to have struck the runway with its port side wing, breaking the wing end completely. The nose gear also collapsed, indicating a very hard landing indeed.
Thankfully the aircraft was able to roll out safely, and all 48 people onboard are reported to be safe and well.
The AN-24 rolled out safely and all passengers are reported to be safe. Photo: East Siberian Transport Prosecutor’s Office
According to the Aviation Herald, this aircraft was registered RA-47848. ATDB puts the age of the aircraft at just over 50 years old, having been built in 1971. The aircraft had previously operated for Aeroflot, before joining the fleet of Angara Airlines in September 2002.
Given the severity of the damage, an official investigation has been launched into the cause of the incident. Irk.ru reports that the Bratsk Investigation Department for Transport of the Eastern ICUT of the Russian Investigative Committee is conducting the investigation into violations of the rules for traffic safety and operation of air transport.
The Russian Public Ministry of Transport released a statement, noting that it will…
“…verify the circumstances of the accident, monitor the observance of passengers’ rights and, if justified, will take the response measures of the Public Ministry”.
The damage to the plane was substantial and, given its age, is likely to be written off. Photo: East Siberian Transport Prosecutor’s Office
Verbal reports of another AN-24 of Angara Airlines recently suffering an engine failure are unsubstantiated at present. However, Aviation Safety Network lists two additional incidents involving Angara’s AN-24s.
The first occurred in July 2011, when an engine caught fire and the crew ditched the aircraft in the Ob River. Seven passengers of the 37 on board died in the incident, and ten more sustained serious injuries.
The second was two years ago, when an AN-24 operating from Ulan-Ude Airport in Russia hit a building following a runway excursion while landing at Nizhneangarsk. The airplane veered off the right hand side of the runway and rolled across grass, before hitting a building belonging to a sewage treatment plant. The ensuing fire took the lives of the captain and flight engineer, although all 42 passengers were able to escape, with just 22 suffering injuries.
The findings of the investigation will determine if any action is to be taken against the airline operator. ATDB lists 12 active airplanes in Angara’s fleet, all Antonov, with nine the AN-24 and three the AN-26. The average fleet age of Angara is 47.2 years.