Accident description
Last updated: 22 December 2014
Date:Wednesday 17 December 1997
Type:Silhouette image of generic YK42 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Yakovlev 42
Operator:AeroSvit Airlines
Registration: UR-42334
C/n / msn: 4520422606164
First flight: 1986
Engines: 3 Lotarev D-36
Crew:Fatalities: 8 / Occupants: 8
Passengers:Fatalities: 62 / Occupants: 62
Total:Fatalities: 70 / Occupants: 70
Airplane damage: Destroyed
Airplane fate: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Location:72 km (45 mls) SW of Thessaloniki (   Greece) show on map
Crash site elevation: 1006 m (3301 feet) amsl
Phase: En route (ENR)
Nature:International Scheduled Passenger
Departure airport:Odessa-Central Airport (ODS/UKOO), Ukraine
Destination airport:Thessaloniki International Airport (SKG/LGTS), Greece
Flightnumber: 241
Flight 241 started at Kiev with a Boeing 737. Because of engine problems an aircraft change had to be made at Odessa. The last leg of the flight was carried out using a Yakovlev 42. After a missed ILS approach to runway 16 at Thessaloniki, the crew were instructed to proceed to the North Hold for a second attempt. The airplane did not follow the published missed ILS approach procedure and headed West-Southwest, flying into the side of Mount Pente Pigadia at 3300 feet.
The wreckage was found at 10:30, December 20. A Greek Air Force Lockheed Hercules, which was being used in the search, crashed near Athens, killing all 5 on board.
On October 6, 2000 a trial began with two air traffic controller being accused of many counts of manslaughter and of violating the transportation regulations. They were sentenced to five years imprisonment. In December 2002 a Thessaloniki appeals court reduced the sentences of two air traffic controllers to four years and four months each.

PROBABLE CAUSE: "The aircraft deviated because the crew did not: adequately plan and execute the missed approach; utilize the Macedonia Airport radio-navigational aids; declare an emergency when they lost orientation; maintain cockpit discipline."

Loss of situational awareness
Controlled Flight Into Terrain (CFIT) - Mountain

» Airclaims
» ICAO Adrep Summary 6/98 (#55)

Follow-up / safety actions
Recommendation to the Ukrainian Department of Aviation: 1) Urge Ukrainian Airlines to excercise adequate supervision when performing flight operations to Europe.
Recommendation to Hellenic CAA: 1) Render operational the modern technical infrastructure already available, including radar at Macedonia Airport.
Recommendations to ICAO: 1) Through ICAO safety oversight programmes monitors the new airlines from Eastern Europe, with respect to their adherence to Western navigation and communication procedures and practices; 2) Develop a CFIT training programme; 3) Evaluate the possibility that member states introduce new charts and maps for radio-navigation; and 4) Investigate the reliability of the various GPWS versus their interpretation by the flight crews.


photo of Yakovlev 42 UR-42334
photo of Yakovlev 42 UR-42334
photo of Yakovlev 42 UR-42334
photo of Yakovlev 42 UR-42334
photo of Yakovlev 42 UR-42334
Yugoslav carrier Tiger Air leased UR-42334 for a short period in the Summer of 1997
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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 Odessa-Central Airport to Thessaloniki International Airport as the crow flies is 897 km (561 miles).

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Yakovlev 42

  • 6th loss
  • 180+ built
  • 4th worst accident (at the time)
  • 5th worst accident (currently)
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  • 2nd worst accident (at the time)
  • 3rd worst accident (currently)
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