Accident Antonov An-26B-100 RA-26085,
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Date:Tuesday 6 July 2021
Type:Silhouette image of generic AN26 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different    
Antonov An-26B-100
Owner/operator:Kamchatka Aviation Enterprise
Registration: RA-26085
MSN: 12310
Year of manufacture:1982
Total airframe hrs:21492 hours
Cycles:10498 flights
Engine model:Ivchenko AI-24VT
Fatalities:Fatalities: 28 / Occupants: 28
Aircraft damage: Destroyed, written off
Location:3,8 km NW of Palana Airport -   Russia
Phase: Approach
Nature:Passenger - Scheduled
Departure airport:Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky Airport (PKC/UHPP)
Destination airport:Palana Airport (UHPL)
Investigating agency: MAK
Confidence Rating: Accident investigation report completed and information captured
An Antonov An-26, operated by the Kamchatka Aviation Enterprise, struck a cliff while on approach to Palana Airport on the Kamchatka peninsula, Russia.
The aircraft operated on a scheduled service from Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky to Palana. The departure was postponed about two hours due to low visibility conditions at Palana. The flight took off at 12:57 local time. On board were 22 passengers 6 crew members, 383 kg of luggage, 1 kg of cargo and 486 kg of mail. The flight was conducted at FL130.
At 14:03, the Palana weather for 14:00 was transmitted to the flight. The height of the lower boundary of the overcast cloud was 720 m. The minimum cloud height for VFR landing in Palana was 750 m. Wind was 7 m/s, visibility over 10 km, fog in the surrounding mountains, pressure 757, temperature 10°C.
The flight crew planned a VFR circle-to-land approach. They would first overfly the NDB at the airport and then proceed for a VFR approach to runway 11 and continue for a visual teardrop approach to runway 29.
At 14:40 the Palana Tower controller instructed the flight not to descend over the sea. The crew confirmed: "We are not descending at sea." At 14:42:54 the crew reported selecting the airfield pressure at 757 mm Hg and descending to cross the NDB at an altitude of 1200 m.
At 14:44:30 the aircraft crossed the NDB at 1650 m, but the crew reported being at 1200 m at 14:44:40. The controller then cleared the flight for the approach according to procedure 1A and cleared them to descend to 800 m.
This approach procedure stipulated a further descent to manoeuvre at 600 m for the circle-to-land approach. However, the flight deviated from this procedure and descended over sea, below the minimum altitude of 600 m. In conditions of fog the the flight turned towards the airfield and continued until the aircraft struck the top of a cliff about 250 m above sea level. Debris fell down on the shore and into the sea.

The cause of the An-26B-100 RA-26085 aircraft crash was the crew's violation of the established instrument approach procedure to Palana aerodrome, which was manifested in flying with significant deviation from the set route and descent well below the established minimum descent height (MDH) under weather conditions that excluded stable visual contact with ground landmarks, leading to the collision of the aircraft with a coastal cliff in controlled flight, its destruction, and the death of the crew and passengers.
Contributing factors to the accident may have included:
- The crew's failure to execute a missed approach with the acquisition of the established minimum safety altitude (MSA) when information about the bearing indicated a significant deviation of the aircraft from the established approach procedure;
- The absence in the Palana aerodrome dispatcher's work technology of actions in the presence of information about the bearing indicating a significant deviation of the aircraft from the established approach scheme, as well as the dispatcher's passivity when such information was available;
- The lack of warning signals from the early ground proximity warning system under conditions that should have triggered it. It is not possible to determine the reason for the absence of the warning signals;
- The overestimation of the barometric altimeter readings in the final phase of the flight due to the specific airflow around the steep coastline creating a low-pressure zone and the overestimation of the variometer readings, the cause of which cannot be determined.

Accident investigation:
Investigating agency: MAK
Report number:
Status: Investigation completed
Duration: 2 years and 9 months
Download report: Final report


History of this aircraft

Other occurrences involving this aircraft
20 March 2020 RA-26085 Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky Air Enterprise 0 Tilichiki Airport (UHPT) non



photo (c) Ministry of Emergency Situations of Russia; near Palana Airport; 06 July 2021

photo (c) Ministry of Emergency Situations of Russia; near Palana Airport; July 2021

photo (c) Miklos Szabo; Nampula Airport (APL/FQNP); 22 November 1994

Revision history:

02-Apr-2024 19:39 ASN Updated [Narrative, Accident report]

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