Initial assessments have suggested that the aircraft’s blades struck cargo being carried by another helicopter just after take-off. It fell to the ground and burst into flames. All those on board, three crew members and 16 passengers, were killed. The helicopter was carrying employees of a contractor from oil major Rosneft’s Suzun oilfield, part of the Vankor deposit, Russia’s northernmost onshore oil production project.The second helicopter was able to land safely.
The helicopter’s black box flight recorders have been recovered and appear undamaged. The helicopter was operated by Russian national airline Utair, which has its head office in Khanty Mansiysk airport in western Siberia. the pilot was born in 1985 and was trained at the Omsk Aviation School in southwestern Siberia. “He flew 5,990 hours, 2,300 of which he was the helicopter commander,” Utair said. Russia’s transport ministry said it created a commission to investigate the crash. The country’s Investigative Committee said it opened a criminal investigation into the crash. Accidents involving helicopters and small planes are frequent in Siberia and far eastern Russia, where air transport is commonly used to cover vast distances. In 2016, 19 people died when a Mi-8 helicopter carrying oil and gas field workers crashed in a remote area of Siberia.