Human error, failed engine blamed for Ukraine military plane crash

written by Hannah Dowling | October 29, 2020
An Antonov AN-26 crashed in Ukraine’s north-east on Friday, killing 26 of the 27 passengers

Ukrainian Deputy Prime Minister Oleg Urusky announced on Wednesday that a combination of human error and engine problems were the root cause of a military plane crash that killed 26 people, following an investigation.

The Prime Minister noted a number of systemic violations on behalf of the pilots and military organisation, including consistent gross violations of fatigue policy. 

The flight was found to be the sixth consecutive take-off for the flight crew, just one of a number of regulatory violations made by the crew.

The investigation also found that the flight crew in command of the aircraft had insufficient professional training, according to Deputy PM Urusky.

However, it was these factors, in combination with a failed engine control system and subsequent emergency situation onboard, that ultimately caused the crash.

Deputy PM Urusky had earlier criticised the decision of the pilot in command to continue the flight with a failed engine, despite the regulatory requirement to land the aircraft.

Meanwhile, Colonel-General Sergei Drozdov, Commander of the Air Force of Ukraine, has also stressed the old age and worn condition of the Ukraine’s military aircraft fleet as a great concern in light of the incident.

Ukraine has not seen the delivery of new combat aircraft since 1991.


The Antonov An-26 military transport plane was carrying 20 air force cadets and seven trained officers from the local Kharkiv National Air Force University when it crashed.

The plane was reportedly attempting to land amid a training exercise when it crashed and burst into flames beside a highway in north-eastern Ukraine on 25 September.

Of the 27 on board, only two people survived the crash and escaped the burning wreckage, with one subsequently dying in hospital due to his injuries.

According to Deputy PM Urusky, the Government Commission for Technical Investigation of the An-26 crash has prepared a number of proposals for preventing similar incidents in the future.

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