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Last updated: 22 March 2019
Date:Sunday 17 November 2013
Type:Silhouette image of generic B735 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Boeing 737-53A
Operator:Tatarstan Airlines
Registration: VQ-BBN
C/n / msn: 24785/1882
First flight: 1990-06-18 (23 years 5 months)
Total airframe hrs:51547
Engines: 2 CFMI CFM56-3C1
Crew:Fatalities: 6 / Occupants: 6
Passengers:Fatalities: 44 / Occupants: 44
Total:Fatalities: 50 / Occupants: 50
Aircraft damage: Destroyed
Aircraft fate: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Location:Kazan Airport (KZN) (   Russia)
Crash site elevation: 126 m (413 feet) amsl
Phase: Approach (APR)
Nature:Domestic Scheduled Passenger
Departure airport:Moskva-Domodedovo Airport (DME/UUDD), Russia
Destination airport:Kazan Airport (KZN/UWKD), Russia
A Boeing 737-53A passenger plane, operated by Tatarstan Airlines, was destroyed in an accident at Kazan Airport (KZN), Russia. All 44 passengers and six crew members were killed.
Flight 363 departed from Moscow's Domodedovo Airport (DME) at 18:20 local time on a scheduled service to Kazan (KZN).
En route the crew noted that their navigation system's map was displaced. During the descent towards Kazan did not ask for vectors from air traffic control and continued their approach, which was flown 4 km to the north of the published approach procedure due to the map displacement issue.
After turning to finals for runway 29 the aircraft was not able to capture the localizer. The flight crew programmed a heading of 250° in the HDG SEL (Heading Select mode) of the autopilot and hurriedly configured the aircraft for landing. The approach was unstabilized and as the aircraft turned towards runway heading the copilot noticed the PAPI lights and saw they were too high. He initiated a go around. At that time the aircraft was at 270m (900 ft) and configured for landing with gear down, 30° flaps. The autopilot was in ALT HOLD mode with altitude programmed at 270 m.
The use of the TO/GA switch caused the autopilot to be switched off. The flaps were raised to 15°, but no manual control inputs were made. The increase in engine power and retracting the flaps caused a pitch-up of the airplane with the pitch angle reaching a value of about to 25°. Indicated airspeed began to decrease, the stabilizer automatically trimmed nose down.
All the time the copilot was engaged in radio communications with the Kazan Tower controller. Subsequently the copilot reminded the captain to raise the undercarriage.
With the pitch angle exceeding 25° the crew began using the control column to reduce the pitch angle. At this point, the aircraft was at an altitude of about 600 meters (2,000 feet), and continued to climb with a vertical speed of 20 m/s. Due to nose down input by the captain and trim system, the pitch angle decreased quickly. Vertical loads decreased to 0,5 g as the aircraft had reached the top of climbing at 2300 feet / 700 meters. Indicated airspeed had decreased to its minimum value of 117 knots.
Vertical loads then decreased to about 0 g, with a negative pitch angle reaching 20°. The aircraft descended at a rate of more than 5000 ft/min (25 m/s).
The EGPWS gave "sink rate" and "pull up" warnings as the aircraft pitch angle reached -60° with a load of -0.9 g.
The aircraft collided with the ground at high speed, over 450 km/h, and a large negative pitch angle of about 75°. From the beginning of the missed approach until the collision with terrain, 45 seconds passed.
The aircraft impacted the ground between the runway and the main taxiway about 1850 m past the runway 29 threshold.

Investigation revealed that the captain received training to become a Boeing 737 captain after serving as a navigator between 1991 and 2010. The copilot used to be a flight engineer (1989 to 2008) and was also trained to become a Boeing 737 pilot. The captain had a very limited knowledge of English, which was considered insufficient to comprehend English language training documents and manuals. As the oversight of the training facility was poor, shortcomings in training were not noticed. Training and safety management within Tatarstan Airlines was considered equally poor.

Probable Cause:

PROBABLE CAUSE (translated from Russian):
The cause of the crash Boeing 737-500 VQ-BBN were systemic deficiencies in the identification of hazards and risk control, as well as a non-functional safety management system in the airline and the lack of control over the level of training of the crew members from the aviation authorities at all levels (Tatar MTU BT, Federal Air Transport Agency), which led to the admission of an unprepared flight crew.
When the missed approach was executed the crew did not recognize the fact that the autopilot was off and the aircraft pitched up to a complex spatial position (Nose up Upset). The PIC's (pilot flying) lack of flying skills in complex spatial positions (Upset Recovery) led to the creation of a large negative overload, loss of spatial orientation and transfer of the aircraft into a steep dive (pitch down to 75°) until the impact with the ground.
The need for a go-around was caused by the position of the aircraft relative to the runway, which was the result of "a map shift" effect (Map shift, an error in the determination of the aircraft position by onboard systems) by about 4 km, the crew's inability in the circumstances to integrated piloting and maintenance of navigation with the required accuracy, and the lack of active assistance of the air traffic control service under the long-term monitoring of significant deviations from the approach procedure.

Accident investigation:
Investigating agency: MAK
Status: Investigation completed
Duration: 2 years and 1 months
Accident number: final report
Download report: Final report

Flightcrew un(der)qualified
Loss of control

» RIA, Interfax, RT
» Russian Emergencies Ministry

METAR Weather report:
14:30 UTC / local time:
UWKD 171430Z 23009G12MPS 9999 OVC009 03/02 Q0995 R29/2/0055 NOSIG RMK QFE735/0980

15:00 UTC / local time:
UWKD 171500Z 23009G12MPS 9999 -RASN OVC008 03/02 Q0994 R29/2/0055 NOSIG RMK QFE735/0980
Wind 230 degrees at 9m/s, gusting to 12 m/s; light rain, light snow; Overcast at 800 feet; Temperature: 3°C, Dewpoint: 2°C; Pressure: 994 mb

15:30 UTC / local time:
UWKD 171530Z 23008G11MPS 5000 -RASN OVC007 03/03 Q0993 R29/2/0055 NOSIG RMK QFE734/0979
Wind 230 degrees at 8 m/s, gusting to 11 m/s; visibility 5000 m; light rain, light snow; Overcast at 700 feet; Temperature: 3°C, Dewpoint: 3°C; Pressure: 993 mb


photo of Boeing 737-53A VQ-BBN
photo of Boeing 737-53A VQ-BBN
photo of Boeing 737-53A VQ-BBN
photo of Boeing 737-53A VQ-BBN
photo of Boeing 737-53A VQ-BBN
photo of Boeing 737-53A VQ-BBN
photo of Boeing 737-53A VQ-BBN
photo of Boeing 737-53A VQ-BBN
photo of Boeing 737-53A VQ-BBN
photo of Boeing 737-53A VQ-BBN
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Aircraft history
date registration operator remarks
18 June 1990 N35135 Boeing first flight
13 July 1990 F-GGML Euralair International delivered
1 June 1992 F-GGML Air France leased
15 July 1995 5X-USM Uganda Airlines leased from AWAS
17 Feb. 2000 PT-SSI Rio Sul leased from AWAS
17 Dec. 2001 PT-SSI Rio Sul accident at Belo Horizonte, Brazil: left main gear broke when it undershot the runway on landing
24 July 2005 N785AW AWAS returned
1 Sep. 2005 YR-BAB Blue Air leased from AWAS
17 May 2008 LZ-BOY Bulgaria Air leased from AWAS
18 Dec. 2008 VQ-BBN Tatarstan Air leased from AWAS
27 Nov. 2012 VQ-BBN Tatarstan Air incident: returned to Kazan following loss of cabin pressure

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-Domodedovo Airport to Kazan Airport as the crow flies is 710 km (444 miles).
Accident location: Approximate; accuracy within a few kilometers.

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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Boeing 737-500

  • 390 built
  • 8th loss
  • 4th fatal accident
  • 3rd worst accident
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  • 46th worst accident (at the time)
  • 49th worst accident (currently)
» safety profile