Date & Time: Dec 7, 1995 at 0308 LT
Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk - Khabarovsk - Ulan-Ude – Novosibirsk
Crew on board:
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En route from Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk to Khabarovsk, while cruising at the assigned altitude of 10,600 metres, about 35 minutes after takeoff, the aircraft rolled to the right, entered an uncontrolled descent and crashed in a mountainous and isolated area located in the Sikhot-Alin Mountain Range. SAR operations were initiated but suspended a day later due to the deterioration of the weather conditions and started again four days later. The wreckage was found 11 days later about 50 km west of Grossevichi. The aircraft disintegrated on impact and all 98 occupants were killed.
It was determined that the crew selected the left main fuel tank to feed all three engines after takeoff from Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk. During 35 minutes of flight, the automatic pilot system was able to control and counteract the imbalance caused by the fuel consumption on one side only. Eventually, the aircraft started to bank right and the crew reaction to an unexpected situation was non compliant, causing the aircraft to enter an uncontrolled descent.