ASN Aircraft accident Ilyushin Il-18V LZ-BES Sofia-Vrazhdebna Airport (SOF)
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Date:Tuesday 21 December 1971
Type:Silhouette image of generic IL18 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Ilyushin Il-18V
Operator:Balkan Bulgarian Airlines
Registration: LZ-BES
MSN: 185008104
First flight: 1965
Engines: 4 Ivchenko AI-20K
Crew:Fatalities: 2 / Occupants: 11
Passengers:Fatalities: 26 / Occupants: 62
Total:Fatalities: 28 / Occupants: 73
Aircraft damage: Destroyed
Aircraft fate: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Location:Sofia-Vrazhdebna Airport (SOF) (   Bulgaria)
Phase: Takeoff (TOF)
Nature:Int'l Non Scheduled Passenger
Departure airport:Sofia-Vrazhdebna Airport (SOF/LBSF), Bulgaria
Destination airport:Algiers-Dar el Beida Airport (ALG/DAAG), Algeria
Crashed on takeoff.
The aircraft had just undergone extensive maintenance. Reportedly the elevator controls were crossed, causing a control reversal.
The aircraft carried Bulgarian cultural delegation, among others the Sofia Orchestra, to festivities in Algeria. A well known singer, Pasha Hristova, was killed in the crash.


Elevator issue
Loss of control

» Soviet Transports


photo of Ilyushin-Il-18V-LZ-BES
accident date: 21-12-1971
type: Ilyushin Il-18V
registration: LZ-BES

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 Sofia-Vrazhdebna Airport to Algiers-Dar el Beida Airport as the crow flies is 1834 km (1146 miles).
Accident location: Global; accuracy within tens or hundreds of 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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Ilyushin Il-18

  • 569 built
  • 53rd loss
  • 31st fatal accident
  • 19th worst accident (at the time)
  • 33rd worst accident (currently)
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  • 4th worst accident (at the time)
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