The Sverdlovsk air disaster of January 5th, 1950 was an airplane crash where all 19 of those on board were killed, including almost the entire national ice hockey team (VVS Moscow) of the Soviet Air Force - 11 players, as well as a team doctor and a masseur. The team was on board a twin-engined Lisunov Li-2 transport aircraft, a licensed Soviet-built version of the DC-3, heading to a match against the Dzerzhinets (Chelyabinsk) (Traktor Chelyabinsk) hockey club. Due to poor weather at Chelyabinsk, the flight diverted to Sverdlovsk. The crew attempted four approaches but during the fifth approach to Koltsovo Airport at Sverdlovsk in the Soviet Union's Russian Soviet Federated Socialist Republic, the aircraft crashed near the airport in extremely adverse weather conditions involving a heavy snowstorm with strong winds.
The crash occurred two and a half weeks after the 70th birthday of Joseph Stalin. Stalin's son Vasily Dzhugashvili, an Air Force commander of the Moscow Military District and the patron of the ice hockey team, was afraid of his father's possible reaction and of the crash investigation; he decided to recruit a new Air Force team in less than a day, except for three original players (including the later IIHF Hall of Fame member Vsevolod Bobrov) who for various reasons were not on the crashed plane.