1950 Sverdlovsk air disaster

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1950 Sverdlovsk air disaster
Accident summary
Date 5 January 1950
Summary Landing failure
Site Koltsovo Airport, Sverdlovsk, USSR
Passengers 13
Crew 6
Injuries (non-fatal) 0
Fatalities 19 (all)
Survivors 0
Aircraft type Lisunov Li-2 (license-built DC-3)
Operator Soviet Air Force transport
Registration 42 red[1]
Flight origin Vnukovo Airport, Moscow, USSR
Destination Chelyabinsk Airport, Chelyabinsk

The Sverdlovsk air disaster of 5 January 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.[2]


In memory of the crash victims a memorial was erected near the common grave in Koltsovo.

Reaction of Vasiliy Stalin[edit]

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,[1] 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.


  1. ^ Accident description for 42 red at the Aviation Safety Network. Retrieved on 8 October 2013.
  2. ^ USSR – 1956 – Ice Hockey team

Coordinates: 56°50′16″N 60°35′49″E / 56.837814°N 60.596842°E / 56.837814; 60.596842