RusAir Flight 9605

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RusAir Flight 9605
RusAir Flight 9605.jpg
The wrecked tail section of the Tupolev with its registration partially visible
Date20 June 2011 (2011-06-20)
SummaryControlled flight into terrain
SiteBesovets, Prionezhsky District, Republic of Karelia, Russia
61°52′04″N 034°08′53″E / 61.86778°N 34.14806°E / 61.86778; 34.14806Coordinates: 61°52′04″N 034°08′53″E / 61.86778°N 34.14806°E / 61.86778; 34.14806
Aircraft typeTupolev Tu-134A-3
Flight originDomodedovo International Airport, Moscow, Russia
DestinationPetrozavodsk Airport, Petrozavodsk, Russia

RusAir Flight 9605 (operating as RusLine Flight 243) was a passenger flight which crashed near Petrozavodsk in the Republic of Karelia, Russia, on 20 June 2011 while attempting to land in thick fog. The aircraft involved, a Tupolev Tu-134, was operating a RusAir scheduled domestic flight from Moscow. Of the 52 people on board, only 5 survived.[1][2][3]


The RusAir Tu-134 was on a service for RusLine from Domodedovo Airport in Moscow to Petrozavodsk Airport. While on final approach, the aircraft crashed onto the A-133 federal highway, about 1,200 m (3,900 ft) short of the runway.[1][4][5] The crash happened shortly after 23:40 local time (19:40 UTC), when contact with the jet was lost. At the time, thick fog was present in the area.[6][7][8] The head of the federal air transport agency said the plane had hit a 15-metre (49 ft) tall pine tree before it crashed, adding that there was no fire or explosion on board the aircraft before the incident.[9]

According to airport officials, the plane was flying off-course by about 200 metres (660 ft) and started its descent much earlier than appropriate. Petrozavodsk ground control said they recommended the pilots take a second approach due to the low visibility and bad weather conditions. The pilot, according to the official, replied that he would attempt the first approach and said he could land the plane.[10]


RA-65691, the Tu-134 involved, seen in 2009 while in service with Tatarstan Airlines

The aircraft involved was a twin-engine Tupolev Tu-134A-3, registration RA-65691, c/n 63195. It was manufactured and first flown in 1980.[1]

Passengers and crew[edit]

There were 43 passengers and nine crew members on board, a total of 52, of which 47 were killed and the remaining 5 injured.[1][9] Of the survivors, one was a flight attendant. The other crew members were among the fatalities.[11][12] Three people who survived the initial crash later died of their injuries.[13]

Casualties by country
Nationality Fatalities Survivors
Russia Russian 41 2
Russia Russian / United States American (dual citizenship) 4 0
Ukraine Ukrainian 2 0
Belarus Belarusian 1 0
Netherlands Dutch 1 0
Sweden Swedish 1 0
Total 50 2

Among the victims was FIFA football referee Vladimir Pettay,[14] as well the CEO and chief designer of Gidropress Sergei Ryzhov, and the deputy CEO and chief designer, Gennady Banyuk, also the chief designer of the Russian VVER-1000 for the Koodankulam Nuclear Power Plant in India and Bushehr Nuclear Power Plant in Iran, Nikolai Trunov.[15][16]


The memorial to the victims erected next to the crash site

By around 01:00 on 21 June, the fire at the crash site was extinguished. Those injured were initially sent to local hospitals, but it was planned to transport them on to Moscow via an Ilyushin Il-76 with doctors and psychologists on board.[1]

On 23 June, at a conference of senior Russian government officials, it was announced that as a result of the incident the government planned to remove all Tu-134s from commercial service, as well as ban the operation of aircraft carrying more than nine people or weighing more than 5,700 kilograms (12,600 lb) lacking a ground proximity warning system.[17]


In September 2011, the Interstate Aviation Committee published its report into the crash. The primary cause of the accident was found to be the decision by the crew to conduct the approach in meteorological conditions that were below the minimum allowed for the airfield, the aircraft, and the pilot in command. The failure of the crew to go-around and their descent below the minimum safe altitude in absence of visual contact with the approach lights or ground resulted in the collision with trees and the ultimate impact with the ground.

The contributing factors included:

  • Poor crew resource management during the approach, expressed in the captain’s submission to the navigator’s will, the latter being increasingly active under the influence of a mild alcohol intoxication, and the actual removal of the second pilot from the aircraft control loop at the final stage of approach;
  • Navigator's performance under a mild alcohol intoxication (0.08%);
  • A discrepancy between the weather forecast for visibility, cloud base and fog at Petrozavodsk and the actual weather conditions prevailing at the time of the crash.
  • Failure to use the automatic direction finder (ADF) and other equipment for an integrated control of the airplane during the final approach, while using the satellite navigation system, KLN-90B (in violation of the Airplane Flight Manual which prohibits the use of GPS information during final approach).[18][19]


  1. ^ a b c d e "Crash: Rusair T134 at Petrozavodsk on Jun 20th 2011, impacted road short of runway". The Aviation Herald. 20 June 2011. Retrieved 21 June 2011.
  2. ^ "Child survivor of Russian air crash dies". ABC News. 22 June 2011. Retrieved 22 June 2011.
  3. ^ "Plane crash in north-west Russia kills 44". BBC News. 20 June 2011. Archived from the original on 21 June 2011. Retrieved 21 June 2011. Cite uses deprecated parameter |dead-url= (help)
  4. ^ Air crash in north-west Russia claims 44 lives, RT, 21 June 2011
  5. ^ "44 Killed in Russian Plane Crash, Agencies Say". The New York Times. 20 June 2011. Archived from the original on 21 June 2011. Retrieved 21 June 2011. Cite uses deprecated parameter |dead-url= (help)
  6. ^ Russia plane crash kills 44, pilot error, weather likely to blame, RIAN, 21 June 2011
  7. ^ Wang, Guanqun (21 June 2011). "Plane crash kills 44, injures 8 in northern Russia". Xinhua. Retrieved 21 June 2011.
  8. ^ SAPA, 24 (21 June 2011). "Fog suspected in Russia crash". News24. Retrieved 21 June 2011.
  9. ^ a b Update: Plane crash in northwest Russia kills 44, including 8 foreigners, RIAN, 21 June 2011.
  10. ^ Pilot error may have caused Karelia plane crash, RT, 21 June 2011.
  11. ^ YLE TV News, 20:30, 21 June 2011.
  12. ^ Список пассажиров и экипажа самолета (по состоянию на 08:00 мск 21.06.2011 г.) Ту-134, совершившего жесткую посадку под Петрозаводском (in Russian). Ministry of Emergency Situations. 21 June 2011. Retrieved 21 June 2011.
  13. ^ "Refined list of passengers and crew members (as of 09:00 MSK 22 June 2011) Тu-134, crash landed in Petrozavodsk Archived 25 June 2011 at the Wayback Machine." Ministry of Emergency Situations. Retrieved on 22 June 2011.
  14. ^ "RF Football Union condoles over death of FIFA referee in air crash". ITAR-TASS. Retrieved 21 June 2011.
  15. ^ "44 killed in Russian plane crash". Chennai, India: The Hindu. 22 June 2011. Retrieved 21 June 2011.
  16. ^ "OKB "GIDROPRESS" officials, who flew on business to Petrozavodsk, are listed among the deceased of the flight Moscow-Petrozavodsk performed by "Rusaero" airlines". Gidropress. Retrieved 23 June 2011.
  17. ^ "Russia orders Tu-134 withdrawal after fatal crash". Flight International. 24 June 2011. Archived from the original on 27 June 2011. Retrieved 27 June 2011. Cite uses deprecated parameter |dead-url= (help)
  18. ^ "DТу-134 RA-65691 21.06.2011". Archived from the original on 30 December 2013. Retrieved 22 June 2011. Cite uses deprecated parameter |dead-url= (help)
  19. ^ Tutkijat: Petroskoin lentoturma oli miehistön syytä. (‘Investigators: The Petrozavodsk Air Crash Was Caused by the Crew.’) Helsingin Sanomat, 20 September 2011, p. B 1.

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