SHOCKING footage shows a Russian long range TU-22M3 bomber crashing after overshooting the runway at a military base.
Pilots on the hulking aircraft had aborted takeoff but the giant Tupolev failed to stop and careered off the tarmac into trees during Vladimir Putin’s recent controversial Zapad 2017 war games.
The incident was on 14 September but footage has only been released now.
The crew of four all escaped escaped from the bomber, and air force officials in Moscow claimed the plane will fly again after repairs to “serious damage”.
The video highlights the crashing noise as the TU-22M3 hits trees at the end of the runway at Kaluga region’s Shaikovka military base.
Footage shows the missile carrier speeding up before take off, but then releasing its brake parachute and failing to stop.
It was carrying near maximum weight for the aborted takeoff.
The crew halted the takeoff because of malfunctioning speed sensors, say high ranking sources.
“The cause of the accident was the failure of speed sensors during take-off, resulting in the crew deciding to abort,” said a senior official.
Reports say the Tupolev’s wings separated from the main body of the plane during the crash.
“The crew did not get hurt,” said a Russian Defence Ministry spokesman.
“The aircraft will continue carrying out assigned tasks after completion of maintenance work.”
The plane went about 100 meters along the runway, wheeled past the end of it and only managed to stop next to a forest, after losing both its wings and chassis.
The embarrassing incident is being investigated by a specially created Air and Space Forces commission.
Last week Vladimir Putin fired Russian Aerospace Forces Commander-In-Chief Col. Gen. Viktor Bondarev for reasons that were not fully clear.
Some sources linked his switch to become a senator to failures including an earlier Tupolev-154 crash last Christmas and another unexplained “catastrophe”.
All 92 passengers and crew on the Syria-bound plane, including 64 members of the Alexandrov Ensemble choir of the Russian Armed Forces, died.
Currently the Russian Air and Space Forces has 62 long range TU-22M3 bombers in service.
Its NATO reporting name is Backfire, and it is a supersonic, variable-sweep wing, long-range strategic and maritime strike bomber .
Yesterday other Tupolev Tu-95MS bombers fired Kh-101 cruise missiles on ISIL and Al-Nusra terrorist targets in Syria after flying from Engels military base in central Russia, said the ministry.
But another Tupolev Tu-154M made its final flight before being pensioned off as a museum piece in Slovakia.