MOSCOW, October 12 (RIA Novosti)
A Russian amphibious antisubmarine warfare aircraft in service with the Black Sea Fleet crashed on Friday in Ukraine killing three and injuring one crewmember, the Russian Defense Ministry said.
The Beriyev Be-12 Mail plane crashed during landing at the Kacha airfield, 50 kilometers from the Russian naval base in Sevastopol on the Crimean Peninsula.
“There were four crewmembers aboard, while the aircraft did not carry any weapons,” the ministry’s spokesman Col. Igor Konashenkov said.
Flights of Be-12 planes have been suspended while investigators establish the cause of the incident. Preliminary data indicates that the plane may have experience an engine problem before the crash.
“The plane made a sudden left wing roll and crashed near the beginning of the airstrip,” a source at the Kacha airfield told RIA Novosti.
Be-12s have been in service with the Russian Navy since early 1960s. The nine remaining operational Be-12 planes are part of a mixed air regiment assigned to the Black Sea Fleet.
The plane that crashed on Friday has been in service for over 30 years, the source said.
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If attempts to drag Russia into a direct military conflict in Ukraine are successful, it would be a catastrophe for Russia comparable to the 1979-1989 Afghan war. There is no direct evidence that the US is trying to bring about a second Afghan war, but indirect evidence abounds.