A prototype of a Russian Ilyushin Il-112V military transport aircraft burst into flames and crashed during a test flight near Moscow on Tuesday. The crash occurred in a forested area as the aircraft was coming in for a landing at the nearby Kubinka airfield. Images broadcast by Russian state TV and shared on social media showed the Il-112 prototype aircraft catching fire before plummeting to the ground and exploding. The massive explosion triggered a huge column of smoke.The plane completely disintegrated.Two test pilots and a flight engineer were aboard the plane. They died in the crash. The plane was piloted by chief pilot of the Ilyushin Aircraft Company, 1st-class test pilot, Hero of Russia Nikolai Kuimov, 1st-class test pilot Dmitry Komarov and 1st-class test flight engineer Nikolai Khludeyev. There were no victims of the crash on the ground.
A criminal investigation has been launched over a violation of safety measures. Pilot error and equipment failure are also among the causes being investigated.The plane’s right engine fire is considered to be the principal cause of the incident. The company did not provide further details. Aircraft’s manufacturer United Aircraft Corporation (UAC) developed it as a replacement for the aging Antonov An-26. The Il-112V has turboprop engines and is capable of carrying up to five tons of cargo.