MIAMI – A Petropavlovsk-Kamchatka Aviation Antonov An-26 aircraft crashed while on approach to Palana Airport (UHPL) from Elizovo Airport (PKC), Russia, leaving no survivors among the 22 passengers and six crew members. UHPL and PKC are both airports located in the Kamchatka peninsula on the Okhotsk sea.

According to Russian news agencies, Interfax and RIA Novosti, Russian’s Civil Aviation Authority said in a statement that the ATC lost contact with the An-26 shortly before 13:00 local time as the flight was beginning its approach, approximately 9 km from UHPL, under a cloud ceiling estimated between 300 and 720m (980 and 2360ft).

Flight PTK251 “practically crashed into a sea cliff,” which, according to Sergei Gorb, deputy director of the company that owns the aircraft, wasn’t supposed to be in its landing trajectory.

Palana Airport. Photo: Alexey Sarvanov via Picassa

Rescue operations

Rescue operations were immediately deployed by the Russian Emergencies Ministry. Two helicopters were able to spot traces of the type atop a coastal cliffside, at about 4km (2.15nm) from the runway. As per the statement, there were no signs of survivors. The aircraft, a turboprop bearing registration RA26085, was first flown in 1982.

The same airline suffered a similar accident 11 years ago when an Antonov 28 crashed, killing ten of the 14 passengers on board.

Article sourced from Air Journal, BBC News, CNN News

Featured image: Petropavlovsk-Kamchatka Air Antonov An-26. Photo: Russian Emergencies Ministry