1950 Sverdlovsk plane crash
|Date||5 January 1950|
|Site||Koltsovo Airport, Sverdlovsk, USSR|
|Aircraft type||Lisunov Li-2 (license-built DC-3)|
|Operator||Soviet Air Force transport|
|Flight origin||Vnukovo Airport, Moscow, USSR|
|Destination||Chelyabinsk Airport, Chelyabinsk|
The Sverdlovsk plane crash of 5 January 1950 killed all 19 persons on board, including almost the entire national ice hockey team (VVS Moscow) of the Soviet Air Forces – 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.
- Ivan Novikov – wing
- Zdenek Zigmund
- Yuri Tarasov
- Harijs Mellups – goalkeeper
- Roberts Šūlmanis – forward
- Yuri Zhiburtovich
- Victor Isaev – second goalkeeper, Soviet Airforce Team
- Alexander Moiseev – forward
- Mikhail Alperin – team's doctor
- Alex Galkin – team's masseur
- Boris Bocharnikov – team's coach
Team players Viktor Shuvalov and Vsevolod Bobrov, were not on the flight; Bobrov overslept and took the train instead, and Shuvalov was injured.
In memory of the crash victims, a memorial was erected near the common grave in Koltsovo.
Reaction of Vasiliy Stalin
The crash occurred two and a half weeks after the 70th birthday of Joseph Stalin. According to a recent news article, 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.
- Accident description for 42 red at the Aviation Safety Network. Retrieved on 8 October 2013.
- "Athletes - Famous Olympic Athletes, Medalists, Sports Heroes". 9 May 2017.
- Formánek, Project: Martin. "Roberts Šūlmanis profile - Роберт Шульманис Профиль - Eurohockey.com". www.eurohockey.com.
- Barry, Ellen; Kramer, Andrew E. (7 September 2011). "Crash Wipes Out Russian Hockey Team, Killing N.H.L. Veterans" – via NYTimes.com.