Accident description
Last updated: 22 October 2014
Status:Final
Date:Sunday 23 May 1971
Time:ca 20:00
Type:Tupolev 134A
Operator:Aviogenex
Registration: YU-AHZ
C/n / msn: 1351205
First flight: 1971
Total airframe hrs:111
Cycles:47
Engines: 2 Soloviev D-30-II
Crew:Fatalities: 3 / Occupants: 7
Passengers:Fatalities: 75 / Occupants: 76
Total:Fatalities: 78 / Occupants: 83
Airplane damage: Damaged beyond repair
Location:Rijeka Airport (RJK) (   Croatia) show on map
Phase: Landing (LDG)
Nature:Int'l Non Scheduled Passenger
Departure airport:London-Gatwick Airport (LGW/EGKK), United Kingdom
Destination airport:Rijeka Airport (RJK/LDRI), Croatia
Flightnumber: 130
Narrative:
The Tu-134 approached Rijeka (RJK) in poor weather with heavy cumulo-nimbus, heavy rainfall and severe turbulence about 4km from the runway threshold. As the aircraft passed through the area, it was carried upwards and rolled to the right. The aircraft was now above the ILS glide path. Some 800m short of the runway, at a height of 60m the crew decided to continue the approach. Power was reduced and the angle of descent increased to 10 degrees. The aircraft struck the runway with the right main gear at an airspeed of 160km/h with 4g deceleration force. The right wing detached and the plane rolled on its back. The remaining stub of wing folded to block the overwing emergency exit. The aircraft slid for 700m and caught fire.

PROBABLE CAUSE:
It is considered that the probable main cause of the accident of the TU-134A aircraft, registration marks YU-AHZ, which occured on the 23rd May, 1971, at "Rijeka" airport was a heavy landing on the right leg of the main landing gear, emphasised by an irregular position of the wheels and 0.7% slope up of the runway at the point of touchdown.
The Commission consider that the described deviation from the flight tehnique in itself, did not cause the crash of the aircraft, but that loading which resulted from the conditions under which the landing was performed made a greater contribution to the crash.
However, non-adequate handling of controls of the aircraft and engines could be explained only by false perceptions (illusions) of the crew concerning the aircraft position in respect to the runway.
The last minute of the flight was analysed on the basis of:
- flight recorder oscillogram
- results obtained during the investigation on the flight on board of the same type of aircraft.
- study of aerodynamic characteristics and stability of TU-134A - analysis of meteorological situation
- analysis of crew members' statement
According to the opinion of the Commission this was an exceptional and complex case of many unfavourable circumstances which resulted in this catastrophy.

Classification:

Runway excursion

Sources:
» Soviet Transports
» 'Heavy landing caused Rijeka accident', Flight International 31.01.1974 (135)

Official accident investigation report
investigating agency: Air Accidents Investigation Branch (AAIB) - United Kingdom
report status: Final
report number: AAIB AAR 18/1973
report released:01-DEC-1973
duration of investigation:923 days (2 years 6.4 months)
download report: Aviogenex TU-134 A, YU-AHZ. Report on the Catastrophy which occurred at Rijeka Airport, Yugoslavia, on 23 May 1971 (AAIB AAR 18/1973)

Photos

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Map
This map shows the airport of departure and the intended destination of the flight. The line between the airports does not display the exact flight path.
Distance from London-Gatwick Airport to Rijeka Airport as the crow flies is 1265 km (791 miles).

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Tupolev 134

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  • 725 built
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  • 6th worst accident (currently)
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 Croatia
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  • 2nd worst accident (currently)
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