On January 21, 2024, a Russian plane carrying six people crashed in the mountainous northeastern region of Afghanistan. The Falcon 10, a two-engined business jet manufactured by France’s Dassault in 1978, disappeared from radar screens and lost communication on Saturday evening.
The aircraft, owned by the company Athletic Group and a private individual, was on a hospital flight from India to Uzbekistan and Russia.
Preliminary information suggests that the six individuals on board included four crew members and two passengers.
The passengers were reported to be Russians, with one of them being seriously ill. The other passenger, her husband, had paid for the flight.
The aircraft, on a medical mission, had made stops in India and Uzbekistan before heading to its final destination in Moscow.
Confusion arose when reports linked the crashed plane to India, concerns about an Indian carrier. However, the Indian civil aviation ministry clarified that the aircraft was not an Indian carrier but a Moroccan-registered small plane.
The Ministry addressed that the crash did not involve an Indian Scheduled Aircraft or a Non-Scheduled/Charter aircraft.
The crash site is believed to be in Badakhshan province, a remote and mountainous region bordering China, Tajikistan, and Pakistan.
As of now, the exact location remains unknown, and local authorities have dispatched teams to investigate.
The terrain of the Hindu Kush mountain range in the province has obstacles to search and rescue operations.
Russian authorities launched an investigation into the crash to determine its cause. The Federal Agency for Air Transport disclosed that the aircraft in question was a Dassault Falcon 10, and efforts are underway to unravel the circumstances surrounding the incident.
The aircraft, owned by Atletik Grup LLC and an unidentified individual, departed from Gaya, India, and was en route to Zhukovsky airport near Moscow.
It had flown from Thailand, making a stop to refuel at Gaya airport in India. The clarification from India’s civil aviation ministry addressed that the Moroccan-registered plane was operating as an air ambulance.
The search for the crashed plane is ongoing, but the terrain and remote location have hindered the arrival of investigative teams. The area is reportedly eight hours by road from the provincial capital, Faizabad.
In a follow-up report, it was revealed that the aircraft was not an Indian passenger plane, contrary to initial speculations.
The denial from the civil aviation ministry changed the focus away from assumptions about the aircraft’s origin.
Further details ]show that two Russian citizens were among the passengers on the charter flight destined for Moscow.
A manifest list published by the SHOT news outlet suggested that the crew members were also Russian nationals. Reports stated that the flight was a medical evacuation from Thailand to Moscow.
There have been conflicting reports regarding the ownership and origin of the aircraft. Initial reports linked the plane to India, but India’s civil aviation ministry clarified that the aircraft was neither an Indian carrier nor a chartered plane from India. Instead, it was identified as a Moroccan-registered small aircraft.