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Accident description
Last updated: 15 August 2018
Date:Sunday 14 September 2008
Type:Silhouette image of generic B735 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Boeing 737-505
Registration: VP-BKO
C/n / msn: 25792/2353
First flight: 1992-08-22 (16 years )
Total airframe hrs:44533
Engines: 2 CFMI CFM56-3C1
Crew:Fatalities: 6 / Occupants: 6
Passengers:Fatalities: 82 / Occupants: 82
Total:Fatalities: 88 / Occupants: 88
Aircraft damage: Destroyed
Aircraft fate: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Location:11,5 km (7.2 mls) NE of Perm Airport (PEE) (   Russia)
Phase: Approach (APR)
Nature:Domestic Scheduled Passenger
Departure airport:Moskva-Sheremetyevo Airport (SVO/UUEE), Russia
Destination airport:Perm Airport (PEE/USPP), Russia
Flightnumber: 821
Flight SU821 took off from Moscow (SVO) on a domestic flight to Perm. Contact with the flight was lost while the airplane was at 3600 feet in "difficult weather conditions", according to Aeroflot officials.
The plane came down on the outskirts of the city, hitting the ground just a few hundred yards from small wooden houses and apartment buildings.
Investigation revealed that the pilot lost spatial orientation during the night-time approach through clouds. This led to a banking of the plane onto its left wing, and its entering into an intensive descent and collision with the ground. The pilot was not familiar with the attitude indicator (ADI) used on Western jets, compared to those of Russian jets. Also, an unspecified amount of alcohol was detected in the pilot's body, and he was overworked.

Probable Cause:

The probable cause of the aircraft accident was the loss of spatial orientation of the crew, primarily the captain's failure to actively pilot the plane at the final stage of flight, which led to a left-hand bank, entering a steep descent and collision with the ground. The loss of spatial orientation occurred during a night flight, in clouds, with the autopilot disconnected, and automatic thrust control. A factor contributing to the loss of spatial orientation and the inability of its recovery, was the lack of training of the crew in techniques of piloting an aircraft, crew resource management (CRM) and insufficient skills coping with complex aircraft attitudes of aircraft with Attitude Direction Indicators installed on foreign and domestic modern aircraft. This indication differs from the display used on the types of aircraft which the crew previously operated (Tu-134, Antonov 2).

Accident investigation:
Investigating agency: MAK
Status: Investigation completed
Duration: 257 days (9 months)
Accident number: Final report
Download report: Final report

Loss of control

» RIA Novosti
» AP


photo of Boeing 737-505 B-2591
B-2591 later moved to Russia (Aeroflot-Nord)
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Aircraft history
date registration operator remarks
08 SEP 1992
24 SEP 1992
Xiamen Airlines
14 MAR 2008

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 Moskva-Sheremetyevo Airport to Perm Airport as the crow flies is 1137 km (710 miles).
Accident location: Exact; deduced from official accident report.

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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