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Accident description
Last updated: 11 December 2017
Date:Friday 12 December 1986
Type:Silhouette image of generic T134 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Tupolev 134A
Operator:Aeroflot / Belarus
Registration: CCCP-65795
C/n / msn: 63145
First flight: 1980
Total airframe hrs:12658
Crew:Fatalities: 9 / Occupants: 9
Passengers:Fatalities: 63 / Occupants: 73
Total:Fatalities: 72 / Occupants: 82
Airplane damage: Destroyed
Airplane fate: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Location:3 km (1.9 mls) NE of Berlin-Schönefeld Airport (SXF) (   Germany)
Phase: Approach (APR)
Nature:International Scheduled Passenger
Departure airport:Praha-Ruzyne International Airport (PRG/LKPR), Czech Republic
Destination airport:Berlin-Schönefeld Airport (SXF/EDDB), Germany
Aeroflot flight SU892, a Tupolev 134A, was a scheduled service from Minsk-1 International Airport, Soviet Union (now Belarus), to Berlin-Schönefeld Airport, East Germany (now Germany). On board were 73 passengers and a crew of nine.
Poor visibility at Berlin forced the flight to divert to the alternate: Prague Airport, Czechoslovakia (now Czech Republic).
When weather had improved, the flight took off from Prague.
While descending towards Schönefeld Airport, the flight was cleared for an ILS approach to runway 25L. The aircraft captured the glide slope at 13.5 km from the runway. The Runway Visual Range (RVR) was reported to be 900 meters visibility, and 1700 m at point A and 1000 m at point B of the runway. As the aircraft was descending for runway 25L, the air traffic controller radioed to all aircraft on frequency that runway 25R was closed. The radio operator of flight 892 wrongly understood this message as a clearance to land on runway 25R. He replied "Got it, thank you, 25 right". This error was not noted by other crew members of flight 892 because of their lack of proficiency in English.
The flight crew disconnected the autopilot and began a manoeuvre to align with runway 25R. The distance between both runways was 460 m. The controller noted this manoeuvre and radioed that flight 892 was cleared for 25L.
The airplane then banked to the left again to align with 25L, at the same time the aircraft descended to an altitude of 60 m below the glide slope. Engine power was not changed during the manoeuvre and the aircraft descended at a speed of 263 km/h and an increasing the rate of descent to 7 m/s. The aircraft struck treetops 3 km from the runway and crashed in a forest.
Initially 70 occupants died; about 2 weeks later another two passengers died from their injuries.

Language/communication problems
Controlled Flight Into Terrain (CFIT) - Ground



photo of Tupolev Tu-134A CCCP-65795
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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 Praha-Ruzyne International Airport to Berlin-Schönefeld Airport as the crow flies is 257 km (160 miles).
Accident location: Approximate; accuracy within a few kilometers.

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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Tupolev Tu-134

  • 725 built
  • 36th loss
  • 23rd fatal accident
  • 7th worst accident (at the time)
  • 9th worst accident (currently)
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