1979 Dniprodzerzhynsk mid-air collision

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1979 Dniprodzerzhynsk mid-air collision
An Aeroflot Tupolev Tu-134A similar to both aircraft involved is seen here on short final to Euroairport in 1977
Accident summary
Date 11 August 1979
Summary Mid-air collision caused by ATC error
Site near Dniprodzerzhynsk, Ukrainian SSR
48°35′17.5″N 34°39′21.5″E / 48.588194°N 34.655972°E / 48.588194; 34.655972Coordinates: 48°35′17.5″N 34°39′21.5″E / 48.588194°N 34.655972°E / 48.588194; 34.655972
Total fatalities 178
Total survivors 0
First aircraft
Type Tupolev Tu-134A
Operator Aeroflot – Moldavian SSR
Registration СССР-65816
Flight origin Voronezh Airport, Russian SFSR
Destination Chişinău Airport, Moldavian SSR
Passengers 88
Crew 6
Survivors 0
Second aircraft
Type Tupolev Tu-134AK
Operator Aeroflot
Registration СССР-65735
Flight origin Donetsk Airport, Ukrainian SSR
Destination Minsk-1 International Airport, Belarusian SSR
Passengers 77
Crew 7
Survivors 0

A mid-air collision of two Aeroflot Tupolev Tu-134 passenger jets took place on 11 August 1979 over the Ukrainian SSR, near Dniprodzerzhynsk. All 178 occupants of both aircraft perished in the accident.

Aircraft[edit]

One of the aircraft involved was a Tupolev Tu-134AK, registration CCCP-65735, that was operating a domestic scheduled DonetskMinsk passenger service, flying at an altitude of 8,400 metres (27,600 ft); there were 84 occupants aboard, of whom 77 were passengers.[1] The other aircraft was a Tupolev Tu-134A, tail number СССР-65816, that was operating the last leg of a domestic scheduled ChelyabinskVoronezhKishinev passenger service under the airline's Moldova division, flying at the same altitude the former aircraft was; it had 94 occupants on board, consisting of 88 passengers and 6 crew.[2]

Description of the accident[edit]

An air traffic controller noticed that the aircraft were on intersecting routes and ordered the Minsk-bound flight to climb to 9,000 metres (30,000 ft). The controller heard a muffled reply and assumed it was an acknowledgement from this aircraft, yet the muffled transmission was actually from another airplane. Both machines collided in a cloud, at 26,000 feet (7,900 m),[3] approximately over Dniprodzerzhynsk, then located in the Ukrainian SSR.[2] CCCP-65735's right wing sliced through CCCP-65816's forward fuselage. The impact spun the Kishinev-bound plane around, causing the tails of the aircraft to collide. The Minsk-bound plane nosedived into the ground, while the other plane disintegrated and fell to the ground in pieces.[4] All occupants of both aircraft perished in the accident, including 17 players and staff of the then Soviet top division Pakhtakor Football Club team.[5][6]

See also[edit]

References[edit]