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Accident description
Last updated: 11 December 2017
Status:
Date:Thursday 3 May 1973
Time:16:40
Type:Silhouette image of generic DC3 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Lisunov Li-2T
Operator:Aeroflot, Yakutsk Civil Aviation Directorate
Registration: CCCP-04244
C/n / msn: 33444701
First flight:
Crew:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 6
Passengers:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 3
Total:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 9
Airplane damage: Damaged beyond repair
Location:500 km (312.5 mls) NW of Queen Elizabeth Islands, Canada (   North Pole)
Phase: Taxi (TXI)
Nature:Survey/research
Departure airport:North Pole drifting ice station SP-21, North Pole
Destination airport:?
Narrative:
The aircraft was engaged in expedition flights beyond the North Pole. At 09:40 Moscow time the aircraft flew from the icefield of the drifting station North Pole-21 to the area of 'point 4' with coordinates 82°15'N 125°00'W with scientific employees on board. The crew was to land on an ice floe in this area for some scientific measurements by the on board staff.
Arriving at the appointed place at 15:40 Moscow time, the crew proceeded to inspect the area to select the landing site. The weather around the point was: clear, visibility over 10 km, wind 240° 4-6 m/s. After a long search of about 1 hour, a site with a size of 600x1000 m was chosen. It was determined by external signs that the ice was about a month old and had a smooth surface. Since this ice was formed in April, the crew and scientific staff assumed the approximate thickness would be more than 50-70 cm.
The aircraft landed at 16:40 Moscow time. After repeated inspection of the ice floe by taxiing, as well as measurement of ice thickness by hydrologists with the help of a drill, the thickness of the ice was determined to be 55 cm. The crew stopped the plane in the center of the ice floe and switched off the engines, then engaged in a detailed survey of the ice floe. Hydrologists started to carry out scientific works. When they cut through the ice to install the instruments, it turned out that the thickness of the ice in this place was 47 cm. In view of the fact that such ice thickness was unsuitable for long-term aircraft parking. The captain decided they would need to depart for another ice floe. The crew began taxiing to the end of the landing strip. There the plane broke through the ice left, and then right and lay flat on the ice.
The occupants left the aircraft and set up a camp before they were rescued by an Antonov An-2, two days later.

Classification:

Sources:
» airdisaster.ru
» www.airforce.ru


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This information is not presented as the Flight Safety Foundation or the Aviation Safety Network’s opinion as to the cause of the accident. It is preliminary and is based on the facts as they are known at this time.
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