Antonov An-26 flying laboratory disappears in Far Eastern Russia

An Antonov An-26 aircraft disappeared from radar near Khabarovsk, Interfax reports on Wednesday, September 22, with reference to a source in air traffic control services.

The aircraft was conducting a technical flight 40 kilometers from Khabarovsk, but communication with the aircraft was suddenly lost. Reportedly, there is a crew of six on board.

A Mi-8 helicopter of the Federal Air Transport Agency flew to search for the missing aircraft, but has not been able to find it yet.

The missing An-26, presumably, belongs to Flight Checks and Systems Company.

The preliminary reason for the disappearance of the Antonov An-26 flying laboratory is believed to be bad weather conditions, RIA Novosti said with reference to a source in emergency services. However, a piloting error is not excluded either.

The missing aircraft was used to check ground-based communication and radar systems.

The Antonov An-26 is a twin-engine turboprop civilian and military transport aircraft, designed and produced in the USSR from 1969 to 1986.