May 26, 2022

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16 Soviet admirals were killed and their planes crashed

In February 1981, a military Tu-104 passenger plane carrying the entire crew of the Soviet Pacific Navy crashed while taking off at Pushkin Airport near Leningrad. The Soviet Defense Ministry suspected Western sabotage and feared that the operation would mark preparations for a naval NATO attack, so the navy was placed on alert. The assassination theory of a foreign secret service was soon proven to be a fantasy. The catastrophe was caused by a chain of highly intelligent events, in which the arrogance of senior officials and the deficit economy played a key role.

Total shopping after the command meeting

At the beginning of each year, Soviet naval leaders commissioned commanders of the four regional naval commanders of the North, the Baltic, the Black Sea, and the Pacific to report to Leningrad on the capture and decision of their divisions. A weekly meeting was as good as possible for the Far East command. While others received criticism from Admiral Korsko, the Navy’s number one lord, he gave official praise to the Pacific Navy.

He was a carrier of the Soviet Navy in 1985 in GaiusSource: Wikipedia

Thus, the officers spent their last days in Leningrad in a better mood, and in addition to their work, they also had time for shopping. In Leningrad, the choice of goods was larger and better than Vladivostok, so wives wrote down a long list of goods for their husbands to buy.

Shopping in a western goods store in the Soviet Union in the 1960sSource: Soviet Visuals

On the afternoon of February 7, as they were preparing to board at Pushkin’s airport, cargo piled up next to Tu-104: Except for oranges, cheese, sausage, chocolates, drinks, toys and toys, chandeliers, floor lamps, televisions, kitchen furniture and refrigerators waiting to be loaded. As well as three rolls of printing paper.

Officials and party executives at the terminal traveled home simultaneously. As the crew of each plane prepared to take off and were busy forcing loaders, privileged passengers – all members of the Soviet elite – saw large groups of planes already flying on the runway from the snow-free terrace.

Soviet airportSource: Russia Business Today

Disaster

The flight of Admiral Spiridonov and his officers was soon followed. Witnesses said the Tu-104 was slower than usual. But when he finally got up in the air everyone calmed down. As the spectators were about to leave the boarding plane, Dupole’s nose suddenly popped out.

A large cross seemed to hang in the air,

An eyewitness said.

Decomposition of Tu-104Source: BAAA

The plane then turned sideways, still crashing into the ground in the airport area and catching fire. Spectators and firefighters rushed to the scene, unable to reach passengers trapped in the burning rubble. Lieutenant Valentyina Zubarjeva fell from the plane that crashed, but was seriously injured and died when he was taken to hospital.

Western massacre or internal sabotage?

Even during World War II, the Soviet leadership was shocked that the Soviet Union had lost only four admirals, killing 16 admirals, 12 first-class captains and other senior officers, for a total of 43. The 44th passenger was the wife of Admiral Spiridono, and there were six people in the group. The Cold War paranoia erupted in the defense sector led by Marshall Ustinov as almost the entire crew of the Pacific Navy died in the disaster.

Degradation of Tu-104 aircraftSource: BAAA

According to the first theory, a U.S. commando operation caused the catastrophe to cut off the head of the Pacific Navy a few days before the U.S. Navy attack. The paralyzed navy could not defend itself in this way, the Soviet Union would lose naval war and American troops would land in the Far East.

After the external attack did not come, they began to suspect an internal enemy in the defense sector. Maybe someone did a sabotage because of their own progress? He soon became skeptical of this theory. Admiral Rudolf Kolosov did not board the plane, although he arrived in Leningrad from Vladivostok with Admiral Spiridonov, commander of the Pacific Fleet, a week before the disaster.

Rudolf Kolosov was initially suspected of intimidating the Pacific NavySource: Armed conflicts

Kolosov was searched in vain by the KGB and the Navy, so he increasingly appeared guilty. He was eventually discovered by his daughter. After a meeting in Leningrad, the Admiral asked permission from his boss, Admiral Spiridono, to visit his granddaughter, spend the weekend there, and return the following week. Spiridonov made the decision based on the outcome of a weekly meeting. With the praise of the Pacific Navy, Kolosov was granted permission – and survived. Therefore, the idea of ​​an internal enemy had to be rejected.

Insidious Tu-104

The investigation was more complete than usual due to the political implications of the disaster. All the leaders of the Soviet aircraft were aware of the shortcomings of the Tu-104, the aircraft behaved insidiously and in the most unexpected circumstances it was able to cut its nose in the air.

The Tu-104, the symbol of the Soviet aviation industry, was the first Soviet jet passenger carrierSource: Reddit

Only the most experienced pilots could handle it, and they did not like it either. Everyone knows about these kinds of frequent accidents, but it is not good to publicly criticize the products of communist industry in the Soviet Union. Production of the machine was completed in 1960, but the units that were produced flew for a long time – and for a long time there were accidents. After the last catastrophe in 1979, this type was phased out of public use and is now used only by the military.

Soviet crash investigators after the Tu-104 disasterSource: BAA

Get up very slowly and quickly

The plane that crashed in Pushkin was flown by Lieutenant Colonel Anatoly Inuyasha. Lieutenant Colonel flew 8,000 hours, was a highly experienced and quiet pilot and served for many years under the command of the Pacific Fleet. With such a regular pilot, it seemed strange to lift the plane off the ground at a slower speed than necessary – and investigators could clearly identify this from the black box data. Although the details of the investigation and the final report were encrypted, General Minionko, the head of the investigation, revealed the secret information to Rear Admiral Rudolf Colosso, the only surviving member of the Pacific Navy.

Departure of Tu-104Source: Russian Air Transport

That data showed The nose of the engine began to rise at a speed of 185 km / h,However, according to the regulations, this could only have happened at a speed of 220 kilometers per hour. What is at least thought-provoking is that according to the type of operating rules the pilot engine’s nose can be raised at a maximum angle of 6 degrees, but that angle was higher here. In addition, the on-board recorder showed it The high steering wheel is not tightened by anyone. That means the pilots did not start sleeping on the plane. Therefore, General Minionenko told the Colossians:

It is clear that this flight was not taken in advance by the pilot. The machine lifted its nose to itself.

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