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Accident description
Last updated: 19 November 2017
Status:
Date:Wednesday 3 September 1997
Time:14:00
Type:Silhouette image of generic T134 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Tupolev 134B-3
Operator:Vietnam Airlines
Registration: VN-A120
C/n / msn: 66360
First flight: 1984
Total airframe hrs:11723
Cycles:8209
Engines: 2 Soloviev D-30-III
Crew:Fatalities: 6 / Occupants: 6
Passengers:Fatalities: 59 / Occupants: 60
Total:Fatalities: 65 / Occupants: 66
Airplane damage: Destroyed
Airplane fate: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Location:Phnom Penh-Pochentong Airport (PNH) (   Cambodia)
Crash site elevation: 12 m (39 feet) amsl
Phase: Approach (APR)
Nature:International Scheduled Passenger
Departure airport:Ho Chi Minh City-Tan Son Nhat International Airport (SGN/VVTS), Vietnam
Destination airport:Phnom Penh-Pochentong Airport (PNH/VDPP), Cambodia
Flightnumber:VN815
Narrative:
Vietnam Airlines flight VN815, a Tupolev 134, impacted terrain short of the runway while attempting to land at Phnom Penh-Pochentong Airport, Cambodia in inclement weather conditions. A one-year old baby boy survived the accident.
Minutes before the crash, a slight drizzle had turned into a heavy downpour. Yet, the captain failed to act upon warnings from the flight engineer and first officer that the plane was flying too low. Instead he ordered the crew to look for the runway.
"Don't see, don't see, captain! Turn back," the first officer responded. The aircraft then struck the palm tree. The captain thenn initiated an attempt to abort the approach. This failed as the aircraft struck several palm trees, damaging the left wing. The aircraft crashed into rice fields aout 300 m short of the runway.

Classification:
Loss of control

Sources:
» Flight International 3-9 June 1998 (p.12)
» ICAO Adrep


Photos

photo of Tupolev Tu-134B-3 VN-A120
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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 Ho Chi Minh City-Tan Son Nhat International Airport to Phnom Penh-Pochentong Airport as the crow flies is 212 km (133 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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Tupolev Tu-134

  • 725 built
  • 64th loss
  • 33rd fatal accident
  • 11th worst accident
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 Cambodia
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