Narrative:An Aeroflot Tupolev 154M jetliner was destroyed during a forced landing near Velichovsky, Czech Republic following an in-flight fire. The six crew members survived the accident.
The airplane departed Basel/Mulhouse Airport (BSL) with the cabin loaded with lightweight boxes, mostly tobacco products. In cruise flight at 10,600 m a fire started in the rear of the cabin, probably as a result of a heater in the galley that was left on.
The fire could not be controlled and the cabin and cockpit filled with thick smoke.The crew donned their oxygen masks, but failed to switch on their cockpit communications system, hampering further interaction. The crew initiated an emergency descent and were forced to carry out an emergency landing in a field near Velichovsky. The flaps could not be lowered so the airplane touched down on a marshy field at a speed of 370-390 km/h. It collided with a two-meter embankment of the road causing the plane to break up. The flight deck broke away.
An in-flight fire forced the crew to make a forced landing before reaching the Prague Airport. The Tupolev carried a cargo of cigarettes.
Forced landing outside airport
» Soviet Transports
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 Basel/Mulhouse Airport to Moskva-Sheremetyevo Airport as the crow flies is 2218 km (1386 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.