1979 Dniprodzerzhynsk mid-air collision

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1979 Dniprodzerzhynsk mid-air collision
Aeroflot Tu-134A CCCP-65854 ZRH Jun 1977.png
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.


One of the aircraft involved was a Tupolev Tu-134AK, registration CCCP-65735, that was operating a domestic scheduled DonetskMinsk passenger service as flight 7880[1] flying at an altitude of 8,400 metres (27,600 ft); there were 84 occupants aboard, of whom 77 were passengers.[2] 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 as flight 7628[3] 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.[4]

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 aircraft collided in a cloud, at 26,000 feet (7,900 m),[5] approximately over Dniprodzerzhynsk, then located in the Ukrainian SSR.[4] 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.[6] All occupants of both aircraft perished in the accident, including 17 players and staff of the then Soviet top division Pakhtakor Football Club team.[7][8]

See also[edit]