Iced Out: The crash of UTair flight 120

Wreckage of UTair flight 120 lies in a snowy field just outside Roschino Airport in Tyumen, Siberia. (Bureau of Aircraft Accidents Archives)
A lineup of UTair Boeing 737s. (Russian Aviation Insider)
VP-BYZ, the ATR-72 involved in the accident. (Artyom Anikeev)
The route of UTair flight 120. (Google)
An airplane undergoing de-icing. (Matt McClain)
Diagram of the ATR-72’s on-board de-icing equipment. (MAK)
How the ice affected the stall characteristics of the accident airplane. (Own work)
An airport security camera captured these pictures of flight 120 as it began to roll to the left and lose altitude. (MAK)
A map of the brief flight of VP-BYZ, with excerpts from the CVR (in English and Russian). (MAK)
Diagram of the crash site. (MAK)
The front section of the airplane, while largely intact after the crash, had only one passenger seated in it (they died). (Bureau of Aircraft Accidents Archives)
The tail section was largely intact, but again, most of this area was behind the last row of passenger seats. (Bureau of Aircraft Accidents Archives)
Police observe the remains of the cockpit. (RIA Novosti)
The forward section as it appeared shortly after the crash. The section with the cockpit windows was subsequently peeled back to extract the pilots, although the effort was in vain, as they did not survive. (MAK)
Another view of the tail section. (MChS Rossiya)
The cockpit after it was pulled back to extract the pilots. (Bureau of Aircraft Accidents Archives)
Yet another view of the tail section. (Bureau of Aircraft Accidents Archives)
Rescuers evidently opened the door to extract anyone who might be inside, but the only person seated there was a flight attendant, who did not survive. (MChS Rossiya)
Firefighters work near the tail section. (The Moscow Times)
The center wing section caught fire and burned for several minutes after the crash. (Bureau of Aircraft Accidents Archives)
Another view of the burnt-out center section. (MAK)
A wide angle shot of the crash site shows both the front and rear sections in the same frame. (MChS Rossiya)
The tail section, although intact, suffered a beating — the cabin interior furnishings didn’t look quite so pristine. (Bureau of Aircraft Accidents Archives)



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Admiral Cloudberg

Admiral Cloudberg

Analyzer of plane crashes and author of upcoming book (eventually™). Contact me via @Admiral_Cloudberg on Reddit or by email at