Aeroflot Flight 1691
A Tupolev Tu-104B, similar to the one involved in the accident, is seen here at Arlanda Airport in 1972.
|Date||March 17, 1979|
|Summary||False fire alarm on engine in takeoff led to crash after attempting to return to airport.|
|Site||near Vnukovo Airport, Moscow, Soviet Union|
|Fatalities||58 (57 passengers, 1 crew)|
|Aircraft type||Tupolev Tu-104B|
|Flight origin||Moscow Vnukovo International Airport|
|Destination||Odessa Central Airport|
Flight 1691 was due to leave for Odessa at 8:15 local time, but was delayed due to adverse weather conditions at both Odessa and Vnukovo. The plane eventually took off at 19:32 local time. Five seconds after liftoff, the left engine fire alarm sounded in the cockpit. The plane continued climbing, and conducted a series of four turns back towards Vnukovo. The flaps were then deflected by 20 degrees. It then entered the glideslope at 360m and was 50m left of the runway centerline. The aircraft descended rapidly and 2.5 seconds before first impact, the crew moved the throttles to takeoff thrust and left them there, but this did nothing to save the aircraft. The first collision was the left main landing gear with some cables on a road near Vnukovo. The aircraft collided with the ground 1548 metres from the runway threshold. The left engine was ripped off the plane and it rolled over. A fire broke out. 57 passengers and one stewardess were killed in this accident.
The board found that the plane was overloaded. Other factors included the lack of communication between the crew and the false fire alarm caused by a mismatch of parts in the engine.