When the Soviet Navy Lost 16 Admirals in a Single Accident: The Tu-104 Crash at Pushkin

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The plane crash at Pushkin airfield on February 7, 1981 became the very last accident in the Tupolev Tu-104 history, after which they were permanently retired from service. But the main reason the disaster at Pushkin airfield went down in history was because this single crash had almost entirely beheaded the Soviet Pacific Fleet. That day, in just a few seconds, the Soviet Navy lost 16 admirals and generals, including the commander of the Pacific Fleet admiral Emil Spiridonov.

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00:00 - 7 February 1981
02:48 - Pushkin
05:06 - War?
07:23 - Main Suspect
09:17 - Black Box
13:11 - "Sausage Plane"
16:54 - Printing Paper
21:40 - Serving on Duty

Paper Skies - amazing stories about famous airplanes, historical events, or exceptional people that have changed the world of aviation or turned out to be unfairly forgotten.

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All content on Paper Skies is presented in historical context for educational purposes.

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3D model "Tu104" by manilov.ap CC BY 4.0 skfb.ly/YZLY



26 Eyl 2021




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Slyguy threeonetwonine
Pushkin and then just touch me. Till I get my. Satisfaction. Satisfaction.
Vintage News Network
Vintage News Network 4 saatler önce
Communism never learning from mistakes is why communism hasn't learned that communism doesn't work.
James Li
James Li 16 saatler önce
Well this means 16 vice admirals got promoted
stirgy 2 gün önce
I can see it now after all these years. The Soviet Union did whatever they could to protect themselves and advance themselves. You are right the masses suffered because of this, mentally for sure, they went without goods, services, and freedoms that most other countries took for granted. A definitely strong people.
I am extremely  _____________!
Bois and their toys
Aqua Fyre
Aqua Fyre 2 gün önce
It's hard to believe that a shortage of Toilet Paper - would eventually lead to this disaster.
Red October
Red October 2 gün önce
I am a retired USCG Aircraft Mech / Air Crew / HC-130 Loadmaster + Instructor, 21 years. I can understand how they can become blind with power and try to re-write the laws of physics or so they think. I walked off a "dirty" HC-130 load once in Clearwater, FL because it was loaded improperly by the midnight shift and the pilot did not want to let me make changes and delay the flight so I gathered my flight bag, informed the other crew members who quickly followed me off the plane. BTW we were carrying a brand new fuel truck inside the aircraft and were going to an island in the Turk & Caicos with a 155,000 lb load. Another loadmaster came out from the hanger, performed the calculations, and agreed with me then we moved some hand loadable material (1,000 lbs.) from the front of the aircraft and placed it on the ramp and it instantly leveled the load and I could prove my math on paper. We had an uneventful flight and that pilot requested me to join him on other long missions "across the pond" to the UK, he knew I was not going to let him kill himself and saw I was willing to walk off the flight rather than being railroaded into an unsafe flight. The Coast Guard taught us Loadmasters and Crew to never be afraid to speak up when necessary, it's called CRM - CockPit Resource Management, it saves lives.
Senturos 3 gün önce
Sounds like a CIA hit hahaha
Engineer Skalinera // Neon Nickel
What is big, heavy, silver, burns brighter than a million stars and smells of sausages? - A crashed sausage plane.
Wild bill
Wild bill 4 gün önce
The Pacific "high command" didn't get very high.. Drunk on power they killed themselves barking orders like a bunch of idiots.
CNC295 4 gün önce
Peter Ruby
Peter Ruby 5 gün önce
Incredible conclusion - but typically Russian. It matches exactly with what I knew about Russians during the Soviet era. Insane choices for the pilot.
Grant T
Grant T 6 gün önce
Soviet pilot: how much random stuff are we loading? Pacific naval command: yes
Richard 6 gün önce
Vodka makes some terrible decisions. And they want to rule the world.
Chris Andrew
Chris Andrew 7 gün önce
Well written and nicely narrated... thank you.
Gerard Jagroo
Gerard Jagroo 7 gün önce
What a peek into Communist incompetence! When a plane crashes in the civilized world you call out the Air Crash Investigators, find out what cause the crash and then and only then do you lock people up and go to war. With the Idiot Communist, War is first brought up then, treachery but last of all a real investigation. So Stupid.
Soul Man
Soul Man 7 gün önce
That poor flight crew. I feel bad for them and thief families, as well as the innocents on board who just wanted to get back home. I will say this is one of the funniest comment sections on TRvid. I learned that Russians have a single word for impending inevitable doom, and good god after this video I think I understand why.
Jay Tea
Jay Tea 8 gün önce
Huh. 15:05 looks familiar.
ash ho
ash ho 8 gün önce
This why they got lt commenders flying planes
Craig Campbell
Craig Campbell 9 gün önce
Yet the Russians led the space race for such a long time with less losses of of life, or did they?
Trireme52 10 gün önce
"Those possessing powers not only reject the basic rules of human ethics, but even the laws of physics." Well, physics won this time.
Terrence Kane
Terrence Kane 10 gün önce
Russia will never have naval superiority. The screendoors on their submarines are proof of that.
Jean Roch
Jean Roch 10 gün önce
And that, people, is why authoritarian regimes never succeed in the end. People in power who never hear "no" end-up believing the laws of physics themselves don't apply to them. Among all the ridiculous medals on those admirals' uniform, there was always room for one more : the Darwin Award.
ALRIGHTY THEN 11 gün önce
Are you sure it wasn't Stalin conducting another purge from beyond the grave? A ghost can easily sneak in and out without being detected.
Jason X-ray
Jason X-ray 12 gün önce
Great story. Reminds me of the Liberals in America.
Larry Gribaudo
Larry Gribaudo 12 gün önce
Did they believe the gospel 1 Corinthians 15:1-4 for salvation.
Panos 12 gün önce
Samuel Christophorou
Samuel Christophorou 12 gün önce
The video is done perfect. Your hard work is highly appreciated! Thank you!
Z Rus
Z Rus 12 gün önce
44 top ranking commanders and officers on one plane, huh *convenient*
Darek Lachowicz
Darek Lachowicz 12 gün önce
It was normal in Soviet Union.
John B
John B 12 gün önce
I reject your reality and substitute my own!
David Woods
David Woods 12 gün önce
Soviet planes are the most reliable in the world?? I cracked up.
Larry Manahan
Larry Manahan 13 gün önce
... love the accent!
Denesh Bhaskar
Denesh Bhaskar 13 gün önce
Lol Soviet union always purged it's officers . My bet the soviets killed them on purpose .
Alex N
Alex N 13 gün önce
Communist are evil.
Manuel Baumann
Manuel Baumann 13 gün önce
Sorry too long. Restarting over and over again.
Terry Russel
Terry Russel 13 gün önce
SIGN ME UP PAPER SKIES ! ! ! About Lt. Gen. Frank Andrews USAAF IF Memory Serves . . . In order to report as soon as possible to Washington for a new assignment he took the co-pilots seat in a B-24 named Hot Stuff. That particular bomber was already scheduled to leave for the U.S. Most of her battle hardened crew were bumped to make room for his staff, luggage and some members of the clergy. A number of questionable decisions were made during the trip and they ended up trying to land in a snow storm but crashed on a mountain in Iceland. Please Note: *Lt. General Andrews was the first pick for Supreme Commander of the ETO. **Hot Stuff and her crew were headed home for a War Bond drive, leave and reassignment after being the first bomber to fly (over) 25 missions. That's how the Memphis Bell and General Eisenhower ended up with their titles.
David Price
David Price 13 gün önce
This plane crash could have prevented Chernobyl. Think about if they simply shared information with the staff and people who worked in nuclear energy, they definitely would have stopped the event. The suppression of pertinent information is just one of the way the S o v i e t s crippled themselves.
David Price
David Price 13 gün önce
This is a testament to everything that was wrong with the S o v i e t Union. Fat commanding officers motivated by personal gain. They literally died from gluttony.
David Price
David Price 13 gün önce
You don’t have to respect the person, but you will respect the rank.
Farrier 13 gün önce
To act for your own gain and to other peoples detriment. That is the scientific definition of "Criminal" To act both to your own and other peoples detriment. That is the scientific definition of "Stupidity". The Political mentality? I rest my case.
Bob Koh
Bob Koh 13 gün önce
What a tragic & yet absorbing story!
J Thum
J Thum 13 gün önce
Higher ranking officers in the USA did some favors for someone In DC. Reciprocity. Or poppa has coin.
J Thum
J Thum 13 gün önce
1981 still using black and white
ishady ishady
ishady ishady 13 gün önce
Spoiler alert : its because the generals overload the aircraft with their personal belongings and groceries mostly at the plane's tail, and disregard also humiliated the pilots, so the pilots didnt have a choice still flew the plane which was tail heavy and take off before the pilot commands, and stalled, then crashed into the runway or not far from the runway
Stewart Winter, Wizard Goat
Harold the Nihongo Student
Death is also part of technological progress.
Dank Express
Dank Express 13 gün önce
Just Imagine Flying in a Plane that has very well known flaws and still flying in it for 30 years as A top Military/Political Leader as Civilians in western countries flew better commercial planes...
Michael P
Michael P 14 gün önce
But it’s only Russians who died so it doesn’t matter.
Woad brah
Woad brah 14 gün önce
come on white house, do it! it's a great idea!
Miguel Serrano
Miguel Serrano 14 gün önce
I wish these people making these videos had no accents.
GaryNumeroUno 14 gün önce
What an entertaining video. A sad story about a terrible aircraft crash but interspersed with tidbits of comedy about certain idiosyncracies of Russian life in general. A sort of black humour video of sorts. Well done... Thank you... Or should I say... "Spacibo".
Benyamin Hannan
Benyamin Hannan 15 gün önce
As the famous Soviet pilot once said… “Oops”
Jacob Field
Jacob Field 15 gün önce
This was a planned hit.
Timo G
Timo G 15 gün önce
great video
The3rdID 15 gün önce
I wonder if this was a good thing or bad? Cuz if you have systematically bad leadership, sometimes a full shakeup is a good thing....or maybe these were all good dudes, who knows lol.
BARAKA 15 gün önce
I recall the president of my country applauding his pilots for not crashing him 🤣
Candi Sully
Candi Sully 15 gün önce
As an American i appreciate the Honest evaluation of this incident very well done...Both nations have their faults GOD BLESS from an American
Paper Skies posts a video about a plane crash that was caused by......Paper!
I Laser
I Laser 16 gün önce
13:46 Oh please, pretty much everything Soviets developed was on the back on Western stolen technology. I won't dispute on a few occasions they managed to make improvements, but the basis of pretty much every technological breakthrough was based on stolen technology. Edit: @14:27 the list continues and it's filled with a list of failures, a litany of reaching and replete with nonsensical claims. SMFH
patrick murphy
patrick murphy 17 gün önce
Incredible. I have too much time in the military to know that this story is not fabricated. My condolences to the families, not the officers of General rank who were responsible.
JW WONDERLAND1981 17 gün önce
At my old job, all of the managers flew on the same airplane to a company meeting. Sadly, this scenario played out in my mind.
Roman Nakutnyi
Roman Nakutnyi 17 gün önce
There was a joke song about Tu-104: "Tu - one - o - four - is - the finest - air-craft, Tu - one -o - four - is - the fastest - air-craft" (sung to the melody of Chopin's funeral march)
Omar Dominguez
Omar Dominguez 17 gün önce
The soviet high command believed their own propaganda about their airplanes and pilots ! That's stupid!
wesley bridge
wesley bridge 17 gün önce
How have I not stumbled across this channel before?
Lesardah 17 gün önce
Gravity is a bitch and her stripper-name is karma.
Samuel Mani
Samuel Mani 17 gün önce
Guess pride does go before a fall, not to name drop but Karma really did over kill on these men sadly.
PandaKO 17 gün önce
Terrible video that took way too long to get to the point. Just look up the Wikipedia article, you can read everything he says here in 30 seconds. Dude just repeated himself over and over again for ad money, really sad.
Gino Lorenzo
Gino Lorenzo 17 gün önce
I love happy endings
German Salamanca
German Salamanca 18 gün önce
Great history Thanks your bringing it up!! Saludos de 🇨🇱Chile
Javier Leyva
Javier Leyva 18 gün önce
great videos ! no need for the heavy accent warning tovarich. My native lang is Spanish; and can understand you perfectly. Keep up the great work!!
Jeff Smith
Jeff Smith 18 gün önce
They should have taken it as a bad omen that the planes nick name was the Stalin.
Panino Manino
Panino Manino 18 gün önce
What can we even say about this story...?
Rick Pierce
Rick Pierce 18 gün önce
Love this guy! Entertaining, informative and sarcasm!
yomaster12345 18 gün önce
Sucks for the pilots but funny enough it seems shit political and military leaders are a self solving problem in the USSR
scoobtoober29 19 gün önce
Tsar bomb. Nuf said They were a SUPER POWER. Our house 1950's owners daughter did bomb drills and ran home from school and were timed. Owner was going to convert (diy) bombshelter retro fit half the basement with poured rebar concrete 6 walls. Ceiling/windows/extra areas. Food storage. Because of the USSR. I was at school when the berlin wall fell, USSR was still in existence. It was highly televised here. Somethings from around the world can touch you in many ways. They were one and governments around the world were watching very closly.
scoobtoober29 19 gün önce
Wow tragic never heard of this one. At the end I now know why. Exotic super secret stuff then released later is not sensational. It is super helpful for evolution if you believe in that exotic stuff Thanks for posting
Dan Lobby
Dan Lobby 19 gün önce
Very 'Admirable'
william escolante jr
william escolante jr 19 gün önce
and all this time I thought the USSR collapsed due to simply being out spent but nope they were simply wiped out lol
Any1469 19 gün önce
I feel bad because this is the problem with misinformation, humble is better when you realize accept and your limitations and abide by rules that we learned from tragedy things could change but it seems like everywhere now people that have power have become tyrants. They want to be mini dictators instead of human beings trying to coexist. Unfortunately I think it will get worse all over, it seems like we may be headed to dark years, as St Lucas of Russia said back in the days, the night will be long and hard. I hope it doesn't last too long though.
Jintaro Kensei
Jintaro Kensei 20 gün önce
The guy who walked into propeller takes the cherry here I think.
Emmet Ray
Emmet Ray 20 gün önce
Don't put all your eggs in one basket.
Adriano Casemiro
Adriano Casemiro 20 gün önce
A nose heavy plane flies badly. A tail heavy plane flies once.
Poker Channel
Poker Channel 20 gün önce
a good communist is a dead communist, am I right? Commies are bad
Vladimir Yudin
Vladimir Yudin 20 gün önce
Even here you can't get rid from western "propaganda" )))
Secret Daisy
Secret Daisy 20 gün önce
Ya gotta love the bureaucrats.
PrehensileMan n
PrehensileMan n 20 gün önce
Excellent video, I enjoyed it very much!
Cary Coller
Cary Coller 20 gün önce
They remind me of the Romulan's, or The Borg. The individual does matter, only war matters.
Cary Coller
Cary Coller 21 gün önce
8 seconds after takeoff!!!!!!
jezza 1555
jezza 1555 21 gün önce
Many high ranking soviet officers killed in plane crash Stalin's purges: amateurs, amateurs
TacticalPossum 21 gün önce
When the Soviet Union had to compete with the outside, during the space and weapons races for example, they excelled. When it came to internal state control there was an extraordinary lack of quality control among goods. Competition holds people accountable to quality.
Florin Ivan
Florin Ivan 20 gün önce
In theory there was a 'quality control' system they weren't stupid. But since it was staffed by humans it tended to be lax. Maybe if we had a system staffed by robots unaswerable to no one but themselves then who knows?
James Milton
James Milton 21 gün önce
There was a atomic bomb that fell out of a American bomber on a runway because the crew decided to ship some frozen crab from Alaska. So the bomb was incorrectly secured in the bomb bay. I read the article in Air and Space magazine years ago.
Andrew Phillips
Andrew Phillips 21 gün önce
Came here knowing nothing of this story, and am leaving with a great understanding of the events, background and ethos surrounding this preventable tragedy. Excellent video. Thank you!
Buzzword Hunter
Buzzword Hunter 21 gün önce
Same problem as with the imperail japanese army. You need your soldiers well trained as well able to talk back at you, if you are making a mistake. We are all humans, and every human makes mistakes. Also, rules are for everyone - even for admirals.
Rick Sturdevant
Rick Sturdevant 21 gün önce
Throughly enjoyed the indepth narrative 👍👍👍
Gerard 21 gün önce
i think. its planned
Heath D
Heath D 21 gün önce
“Evil Capitalist Bloodsuckers”…cracked me up!
Thomas Hogan
Thomas Hogan 22 gün önce
The number one cause of death for Soviet Generals and senior officers in WWII (and Agromomists as well) was Stalinist Purges, with over 300 Soviet Generals and senior officers being executed. But hey kids, Capitalism is bad, right? Just ask the Shoe Factory manager who ran Chernobyl.
real isrealite
real isrealite 22 gün önce
The flight crew were damned if they flew and damned if they didnt.Might as well die with the S.O.Bs that killed them.
gamer749 22 gün önce
The admirals finally found something they could not order around. Physics.
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