No One Survived Helicopter Crash in Russia's Sakhalin

It was a fall, not an emergency landing

The reasons of the helicopter crash in the Russian Kamchatka region on August 20th are to be announced this week. Far Eastern department of the RBC news agency reported, that was decided by the state committee for the investigation of the accident (the committee is chaired by EMERCOM's head Sergey Shoygu).

Specialists that work on the site of the helicopter crash have tentatively determined the chronicle of the accident. The EMERCOM department in the Kamchatka region said, the helicopter had swerved 40 kilometers from the route. "The helicopter was flying in a dangerous area. Mount Opala is higher than 2.5 kilometers. There is another mountain nearby - the air current between the two mountains creates a wind tunnel," the department said. Specialists say, the wind either downed the aircraft or the crash happened because of an air pocket, in which the chopper found itself. Most likely, the pilot pulled the control column, and the chopper's main rotor cut the tail boom. After that, specialists think, the helicopter fell down on the ground from the height of 1,300 meters. The fall was absolutely uncontrollable, the aircraft was spinning around, several passengers fell out of the helicopter. Crewmembers were probably trying to steer the falling chopper, they managed to make it fall down on a small meadow. "But it was a fall, not an emergency landing," specialists emphasized.

A part of the craft's hull went several centimeters into the ground because of the waterlogged area, on which it had fallen. The heavy propulsion system fell inside the helicopter's saloon. The bodies of several passengers were found around the crashed aircraft, someone else was found inside. The body of Sakhalin governor Igor Farkhutdinov was found there too. "The governor and two other men were found dead holding on to each other. They were probably trying not to let each other fall out of the helicopter," specialists believe.

The department stressed out, it was a preliminary version of the crash. Experts are currently trying to find out the reason, which made pilots change the route. Maybe, an answer to this question will be found with the help of flight recorders, Vostok-Media news agency reported.

It took rescue squads three days to find the wreckage of the helicopter with Sakhalin governor Igor Farkhutdinov, 16 officials of the regional administration and three crewmembers on board. The helicopter crashed on August 20th - it fell down from the height of more than a thousand meters. Specialists believe, the aircraft touched a mountain during the flight and crashed 115 kilometers south-east of the city of Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky.  The crash left no survivors. All bodies have already been taken away from the site of the accident. The evacuation was hampered with a strong wind - a storm warning was announced in the area of Mount Opala. The bodies of all members of the Sakhalin regional administration have been transported to the city of Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk (the major city in the Sakhalin region). Kamchatka regional governor Mikhail Mashkovtsev ordered to assign 100,000 rubles to the families of the killed crewmembers. August 26th was announced a mourning day in the Sakhalin region.

Author`s name Olga Savka