RT: Russian military Tu-154 aircraft disappears from radars after takeoff in Sochi

December 25,2016

Russian air traffic controllers have lost contact with a Tu-154 airliner reportedly belonging to the Russian Defense Ministry, sources in emergency services told Russian media.

“According to preliminary data, a Russian Defense Ministry Tu-154 disappeared from radar screens after departing from Sochi. Approximately 70 people were onboard,” a source in the country’s Emergencies Ministry told RIA Novosti.

According to preliminary information the plane had 82 passengers onboard and ten crew members.

Another source familiar with the matter told Interfax that the plane went off radar when the Tu-154 was still maneuvering in Russian airspace over the Black Sea, shortly after take off.

“The plane disappeared from radar approximately 20 minutes after takeoff,” another source told RIA, adding that the plane departed at 5:20am local time and failed to check in with the tower at 5:40am.

The Federal Air Transport Agency (Rosaviation) told RIA Novosti that the flight was “not civilian”. According to sources cited by Russia’s LifeNews, the plane had allegedly been heading to Latakia province in Syria.

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