The Tupolev Tu-154 operated by the Russian Air Force took off from Sochi, Russia, for a military flight to Hmeymim airbase in Latakia, Syria, where Russia has a large military presence. The plane was carrying 92 people, including 84 passengers and eight crew members. The Tupolev crashed in the Black Sea, minutes after takeoff from Sochi. All the 92 people onboard were killed.
The plane initially took off from Moscow, Russia. En route to Latakia, the plane landed in Sochi to refuel. Shortly after it took off from Sochi, during climb, the plane made a U-turn back towards the coastline and disappeared off radar screens. The plane impacted the waters of the Black Sea and was destroyed. Wreckage was found at a depth of 50 to 70 meters.
No major weather patterns were present at the time of the accident.
The Tu-154 was carrying soldiers, reporters and 64 members of the famed Alexandrov military music ensemble, the army’s official choir, who were to perform for Russian troops in Syria.
The plane was manufactured in 1983 and clocked 6,689 hours of flight. The last repair was on December 29, 2014, and in September 2016 it underwent scheduled maintenance.