Probe launched in Mi-8 helicopter crash in Khabarovsk Territory

The investigating bodies of the Far Eastern Transportation Investigations Directorate of the Russia’s Investigative Committee have opened a criminal investigation in a crime under part 3 of article 263 of the RF Penal Code (violation of safety standards for traffic and operation of air transport entailing death of two or more people) after a crash of a Mi-8 helicopter in Khabarovsk Territory.

It has been preliminarily revealed that on 15 August 2015, the Mi-8 helicopter (hull number RA - 22559) of Vostok airlines (Khabarovsk) was carrying out a commercial flight. At 12:29 PM, it took off from Khabarovsk. At 02:45 PM, the helicopter landed in the village of Polina Osipenko, Khabarovsk Territory for refueling and to continue its journey. According to the flight plan, at 05:20 PM, the helicopter was supposed to land in the Onchogan bay. The helicopter failed to arrive to its destination in stipulated time. About 8:20 PM, one of the crewmembers reported to a flight controller of the airlines that the helicopter had gone down into water 3.5 km to the north of Onchogan helipad 30 meters off the shore. The helicopter sunk.

There were 13 passengers and 3 crewmembers aboard. According to preliminary information, the crew and 8 passengers were saved, the rest 5 passengers are not accounted for.

At present, the investigators are confiscating the helicopter documents from the airlines. Fuel samples are being seized from the airport in Khabarovsk and in the village of Polina Osipenko. An investigating team is going to head for the scene on 16.08.2015 to find out all the circumstances and reasons for the crash. The investigation is ongoing.