How do you say “Oops!” in Russian?

Last week I showed a Russian Air Force Tupolev Tu-22M3 bomber make a very, very long takeoff, leaving a cloud of dust at the runway threshold as it lifted off just in time.

This one didn’t make it at all.  Running out of runway, its pilot deployed its braking parachutes as he tried to stop – but to no avail.

Listening to the sounds, it looks as if the tail section – visible towards the end of the clip – broke off and came to a stop, while the rest of the plane kept on going for a while.  There was no sign of a fire, so I hope the crew survived.

If anyone can provide more information about this accident, please do so in Comments.


EDITED TO ADD: A tip o’ the hat to Irish for providing the link to an article about the crash.


  1. Two questions:

    Why did the pilot wait so long?

    Why did the crew not punch out?

    A full load of fuel, possible munitions, and you are going to ride it out? That's just stupid, unless the aircraft doesn't have the capability. I can't believe it didn't fireball. It ripped the wings off!

    They claim to expect to restore it to airworthiness. As few as they have, I guess it's worth making the effort.

  2. Why did the crew not punch out? Speed. The KT-1 ejection seats on the Backfire require that the aircraft be traveling at something like 200mph or thereabouts for the canopies to clear, the drogue chutes on the seats to deploy correctly etc. The big thing is the canopy jettison. Those four separate canopies are substantial chunks of airplane and the slipstream needs to help strip them away so you're not launching crewmen into them headfirst. If I remember correctly you can eject on the ground or at any altitude but the 200mph speed is the limiting factor.

  3. "If that bird ever flies again it is going to be with a 'Salvage Title'." Jack up the nameplate and roll a new airframe underneath it.

  4. Indeed they do have JATO packs and the Backfire can use them or at least the early models could. They're used about as often as they are on US jets which is mostly never.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *