Senior Flight Engineer and Instructor of the Department - Major

Unit: 117th Transport Aviation Regiment, 18th Military Transport Aviation Division, Military Transport Aviation Command, Western Military District

Cargo ID: #269

English Name: Nikolay Sergeevich Gorbunov

Russian Name: Горбунов Николай Сергеевич

Date of Birth: October 20, 1982 (age: 39 years)

Lived in: Orenburg Region, Russia

Awards: Being Investigated

Previously Served: Syria, Crimea (Ukraine 2014)

Over the years of service, he has gained extensive experience in his profession, performed many responsible tasks, including flight management during extinguishing massive forest fires in the Far East, participation in the operation to return Crimea to the Russian Federation (2014), a military operation in Syria against international terrorist formations (since 2015), an operation under the auspices of the Collective Security Treaty Organization in Kazakhstan (January 2022).

On June 23–24, 2022, the heavy military transport aircraft Il-76MD No. 78778 performed a training flight along the Orenburg-Ryazan-Belgorod route. The crew included the aircraft commander, Lieutenant Colonel Petrushin [Cargo ID #270], the head of electronic warfare, navigator Major S. N. Perminov [Cargo ID #268], senior flight engineer-instructor of the 18th military transport aviation division, Major Gorbunov [Cargo ID #269], airborne equipment flight engineer, ensign Andreev and five more military personnel.

After refueling, performed at the Dyagilevo air base (within Ryazan), the plane took off on June 24 at 03:05 to continue its flight. However, immediately after takeoff, a fire broke out in one of its four turbojet engines. The crew commander decided to make an emergency landing on the ground. For several minutes, the plane circled over the surrounding meadows and at 3:18, damaging the power line, made a hard landing 5 kilometers from the air base, while partially collapsing. Three people, including the commander, died immediately, two died in the hospital, the rest, having received injuries, survived. Residential areas of Ryazan were located in the immediate vicinity of the crash site, but there was no destruction or casualties among the population.

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