On 25 December 2012, an Antonov An-72-100 (registration UP-72859) operated by the Armed Forces of the Republic of Kazakhstan, crashed about 20 kilometres (12 mi) from the Kazakh city of Shymkent, where the aircraft was preparing to land.
The aircraft had been flying from Kazakhstan's capital of Astana to Shymkent and was carrying 27 people – seven crew and twenty members of the Kazakh border patrol, including its leader, the acting Director of the Kazakhstan Border Guard Service, Colonel Turganbek Stambekov.
The accident occurred at about 19:00 local time (1300 UTC) as the aircraft was descending to land. According to local media, the aircraft had been flying at an altitude of about 800 metres (2,600 ft) when it suddenly crashed to the ground. Emergency crews were dispatched from Shymkent in response. However, the head of the local emergency services department stated that "the plane was destroyed by fire. Only fragments [were] left." Kazakhstan's National Security Committee issued a statement confirming that all 27 people on board had died in the crash, and also said that an investigation into the incident has begun.
The investigation commission found out that failure of the autopilot and radio altimeter combined with poor visibility, and the pilot failing to follow instruction to use the barometric altimeter caused the crash.