Tajikistan Airlines Flight 3183
Tajikistan Airlines Tu-154, similar to the aircraft that crashed
|Date||15 December 1997|
|Summary||Controlled flight into terrain due to pilot error|
|Aircraft type||Tupolev Tu-154B-1|
|Flight origin||Dushanbe Airport, Tajikistan|
|Destination||Sharjah Airport, United Arab Emirates|
Tajikistan Airlines Flight 3183 was a Tupolev Tu-154B-1 which crashed on 15 December 1997 on approach to Sharjah Airport in the United Arab Emirates. There was a sole survivor, the navigator, from a crew of seven and seventy-nine passengers. Investigators determined the cause of the accident was pilot error leading to controlled flight into terrain.
The aircraft departed from Khujand Airport in the afternoon of 15 December 1997. Upon entering the airspace of the Emirate of Sharjah the aircraft began to descend, experiencing turbulence on the way down. Preparing for final approach, the crew did not notice they were too low, and the aircraft crashed into the desert approximately 13 kilometres (8.1 mi) east of Sharjah Airport. All 79 passengers were killed (although one survived the crash, only to later die in hospital) along with 6 of the crew. The sole survivor was identified as the flight navigator, 37-year-old Sergei Petrov.
The International Civil Aviation Organization suggested the probable cause was "The pilot descended below the assigned altitude and unintentionally continued a descent into terrain. Contributing factors were self-induced stress, slight turbulence and non-adherence to operating procedures". The president of the Tajikistan State Air Company, who had chartered the flight, claimed that an explosion had taken place on the aircraft prior to the crash, but there was no evidence to support this.
The President of Uzbekistan, Islam Karimov, offered condolences to his Tajik counterpart Emomalii Rahmon after the crash. All 85 victims were from Khujand; the coffins were flown back there for burial. As many as 3,000 people gathered in the main square of Khujand for the mourning, while Tajik Prime Minister, Yahyo Azimov, spoke of "a dreadful tragedy". Nineteen of the bodies were severely damaged and could not be identified; they were subsequently buried in a mass grave.
- https://aviation-safety.net/database/record.php?id=19971215-0 Record of the accident along with investigation and final report Obtained 13th January 2019
- "Tupolev 154B-1 EY-85281 Sharjah Airport (SHJ)". Aviation Safety Network. Retrieved 15 January 2014.
- Saleh Ambah, Faiza (15 December 1997). "One survivor of air crash, 85 are victims". The Bryan Times. Ohio. Retrieved 15 January 2014.
- "85 Are Killed as Tajikistan Plane Crashes in the Arab Emirates". The New York Times. 16 December 1997. Retrieved 15 January 2014.
- "Tajik airliner crash probe". BBC News. 17 December 1997. Retrieved 15 January 2014.
- "Tajiks mourn dead". BBC News. 18 December 1997. Retrieved 15 January 2014.
- "Despatches". BBC News. 18 December 1997. Retrieved 15 January 2014.