Accident Tupolev Tu-134A-3 RA-65021,
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Date:Saturday 17 March 2007
Type:Silhouette image of generic T134 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different    
Tupolev Tu-134A-3
Owner/operator:UTair Aviation
Registration: RA-65021
MSN: 48390
Year of manufacture:1976
Engine model:Soloviev D-30-III
Fatalities:Fatalities: 6 / Occupants: 57
Aircraft damage: Destroyed, written off
Location:Samara Airport (KUF) -   Russia
Phase: Landing
Nature:Passenger - Scheduled
Departure airport:Surgut Airport (SGC/USRR)
Destination airport:Samara Airport (KUF/UWWW)
Investigating agency: MAK
Confidence Rating: Accident investigation report completed and information captured
UTair Aviation flight 471 departed Surgut (SGC) on a regular domestic flight to Belgorod (EGO) via Samara (KUF). Upon departure from Surgut, the weather at Samara was below minima with a visibility of 200 m in fog. An improvement was expected to a visibility of 3000 m upon arrival.
The Tupolev Tu-134 took off at 04:08 UTC, climbing to the cruising altitude of 10600 m. En route weather reports showed an improvement to a visibility of 1500 m at Samara.
At 06:18 UTC (11:18 local time), shortly after contacting Samara Control, the captain briefed the crew about the arrival procedures for Samara. During the briefing he incorrectly stated that the altitude at which they would capture the glide slope was 500 m (the actual height is 400 m according to the approach charts). About 06:22, Samara Control cleared the flight to descend to 5400 m. During their descent, about 06:30, the ground wind at Samara Airport changed direction from west (270-290°) to southeast (120°) with fog again worsening the visibility.
Samara Approach cleared the flight further down to 2400 m and reported of 1200 m with haze and fog. At 06:35 the crew received further clearances in preparation for an approach to runway 23 and the controller reported pressure at the airfield being 745 mm Hg.
At 06:37 visibility dropped to 800 m. The meteorological station officer did not inform air traffic control, although he was aware of this significant drop in visibility. Shortly afterward a visibility of 608 m was registered, which was below airport landing minima. This value was not noted by the met station officer and thus not passed on to ATC. At 06:38:53 the flight reported at 400 m. The crew was then instructed to contact the Samara Landing controller, which they did. At 06:40 UCT air traffic control contacted the met station to inquire about the cloud base and horizontal visibility. The met officer reported fog with 800 m visibility but did not mention the cloud base. The cloud base according to the latest ATIS information was 490 m. The actual cloud base measured at the time of the approach was about 30 m.
At 06:40:10, at a speed of 380 km/h, the flight engineer lowered the landing gear and the captain trimmed the stabilizer. At 06:40:43, at a speed of 350 km/h, the flaps were extended to 20 degrees. At the same time, the Tu-134 was 10 km on finals, the controller reported the (incorrect) visibility of "800 m in fog". At 06:41:09., 8 km out, at a speed of 320 km/h, the flaps were set at 30 degrees.
At 06:41:45 the airplane passed the Outer Marker at 200 m. The navigator failed to inform the crew that they had passed the Outer Marker. Thus the pilot did not inform the controller, in order to obtain landing clearance. When the controller inquired about their position, the crew reported ready for landing. At 06:41:55 they were cleared to land. The vertical rate of descent was 6 m/s, which exceeded the recommended rate of descent. The aircraft passed the Inner Marker at a height of 60 m, and a vertical rate of descent of 5,5 m/s with a lateral deviation from the runway axis to the right, no less than 40 m with a further tendency to the right. At decision height the crew had not established positive visual contact with the approach lights. The approach was continued until the airplane contacted the ground, at 06:42:33, 300 m short of the runway and 100 m to the right of the extended centreline. The left wing separated from the fuselage and the plane rolled on its back.

The Technical Commission came to the following conclusion:
The reason for the crash of TU-134A RA-65021 during the approach to landing at Kurumoch Airport, Samara, in weather conditions significantly below minima for the airport, aircraft, and crew, was the destruction of the aircraft during its travel over the ground after a hard touchdown 300 meters short of the runway and 100 meters to the right of the approach course.
The accident resulted from organizational, technical, and procedural deficiencies in the work and interaction of the weather and air traffic control services, as well as from crew errors.
Deficiencies in the standards and technical documentation of the Samara Airport made it impossible for Air Traffic Control to inform the crew on a timely basis of the readings from the KRAMS-4 weather station, which indicated a deterioration of weather conditions below airport minima.
At decision height, in the absence of reliable visual contact with the approach lights and airport environment, the flight crew did not make a timely decision to execute a missed approach.
The air traffic controller’s failure to use the full capability of the radar equipment because of contradictions in the relevant standards and procedures documents, as well as poor coordination among the flight crew and their delay in executing a missed approach, made it impossible to avoid a tragedy.
The lack of unified federal regulations covering flight operations, Air Traffic Control, and weather and other services, taking into account both domestic and international experience in flight safety, contributed to this aviation accident.

Accident investigation:
Investigating agency: MAK
Report number: final report
Status: Investigation completed
Duration: 4 months
Download report: Final report


MAK Interstate Aviation Committee (IAC)



photo (c) via Werner Fischdick; Praha-Ruzyne International Airport (PRG/LKPR); June 1999

Revision history:


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