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Accident description
Last updated: 27 November 2015
Date:Monday 14 August 1972
Type:Ilyushin 62
Registration: DM-SEA
C/n / msn: 00702
First flight: 1970
Total airframe hrs:3520
Engines: 4 Kuznetsov NK-8-4
Crew:Fatalities: 8 / Occupants: 8
Passengers:Fatalities: 148 / Occupants: 148
Total:Fatalities: 156 / Occupants: 156
Airplane damage: Destroyed
Airplane fate: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Location:Königs Wusterhausen (   Germany)
Phase: En route (ENR)
Nature:Int'l Non Scheduled Passenger
Departure airport:Berlin-Schönefeld Airport (SXF/EDDB), Germany
Destination airport:Bourgas Airport (BOJ/LBBG), Bulgaria
The Interflug flight departed Berlin-Schönefeld at 16:30. Thirteen minutes later as the airplane was climbing through 8900 m, the crew reported elevator problems. The pilot requested an immediate return to the airport. At 16:51 the crew decided to start the fuel dumping procedure in order to decrease the landing weight. Three minutes later an emergency descent was initiated. The situation of the plane worsened as the crew had detected a fire in the rear. At 16:59:25 they issued a Mayday, stating that they had problems controlling their altitude. They also reported a fire on board. The airplane entered an uncontrolled descent during which the tail section failed. The Ilyushin broke up and crashed.

A hot-air tube in the rear of the airplane had contained a leak for some time. During the operation of the plane hot air with temperatures of around 300 degrees C had caused a weakening of the insulation material of electricity wires and the airplane controls. Immediately after takeoff on the ill-fated flight, a short-circuit occurred. Sparks with a temperature of up to 2000 degrees C caused substanial melting and ultimately a fire in the nr. 4 cargo bay which was located in the rear of the plane. The fire weakened the fuselage structure, causing the tail section to fail in-flight.


Wing failure
Loss of control

» Soviet Transports
» Weg und Absturz der Interflug / K-D. Seifert


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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 Berlin-Schönefeld Airport to Bourgas Airport as the crow flies is 1499 km (937 miles).

This information is not presented as the Flight Safety Foundation or the Aviation Safety Network’s opinion as to the cause of the accident. It is preliminary and is based on the facts as they are known at this time.
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Ilyushin 62

  • 3rd loss
  • 287 built
  • worst accident (at the time)
  • 4th worst accident (currently)
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