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Accident description
Last updated: 30 May 2016
Date:Wednesday 17 December 1997
Type:Silhouette image of generic YK42 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Yakovlev 42
Operating for:AeroSvit Airlines
Leased from:Lvovskie avialinii
Registration: UR-42334
C/n / msn: 4520422606164
First flight: 1986
Total airframe hrs:12008
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)
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
AeroSvit Airlines Flight AEW241 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 (UR-42334).
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.

1. The failure of the flight crew to adequately plan and execute the approach and missed approach procedure for runway 16 at Makedonia airport.
2. The failure of the flight crew to properly utilize the Makedonia airport radionavigational aids and aircraft radio equipment / instruments and to interpret the information that was presented.
3. The failure of the flight crew to declare an emergency when they lost their orientation following the missed approach, despite numerous cues alerting them for the aforementioned situation.
4. The captain's failure to achieve maximum performance climb in response to the GPWS alarm signal, 30" prior to impact.
5. The lack of command presence, cockpit discipline and resource management which resulted in a disorganized, confused and ultimately disfunctional flight crew.
6. The company's inadequate oversight, over their flight operations, that allowed for and resulted in scheduling one inadequately prepared and marginally qualified flight crew and an aircraft which did not comply with national and international airworthiness regulations (it had not been issued the Type Certificate with the corresponding Amendment for the international flights), to execute a regular passenger flight with No 1 VHF/NAV receiver inoperative.

Contributing Factors:
1. The inadequate training provided to the flight crew for cockpit resource management and international flight operations.
2. The dispatch of the aircraft with No 1 VHF/NAV receiver, inoperative, despite the restrictions provided in M.E.L. (Appendix 28, pages 14, 16).
3. The assignment of a marginally qualified instructor pilot to this specific flight who disrupted and substantially reduced the coordination and effectiveness of the flight crew.
4. The inaccurate display of the symbol (R) on the Jeppesen Sanderson Inc. chart 11-1, for runway 16, from which the flight crew, most probably, have formed the wrong impression that radar service was available in Makedonia airport.
5. The insufficient evaluation by the Approach Control, under the aforementioned circumstances, of the difficulties encountered by the flight crew in following procedures and clearances, which prevented the Controllers to offer any available assistance, by their own initiative, in order to prevent, probably, the accident.

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

» ICAO Adrep Summary 6/98 (#55)
» Aircraft Accident Report 17.12.1997 Aerosweet Airlines, Flight AEW-241 Yak-42, UR-42334 "Makedonia" International Airport Thessaloniki Hellas

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
Add your photo of this accident or aircraft

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

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