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Last updated: 24 July 2021
Date:Thursday 7 November 1991
Type:Silhouette image of generic YK40 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Yakovlev Yak-40
Operator:Aeroflot, North Kavkaz Civil Aviation Directorate
Registration: CCCP-87526
MSN: 9520841
First flight: 1975
Engines: 3 Ivchenko AI-25
Crew:Fatalities: 4 / Occupants: 4
Passengers:Fatalities: 47 / Occupants: 47
Total:Fatalities: 51 / Occupants: 51
Aircraft damage: Damaged beyond repair
Location:23 km (14.4 mls) WNW of Makhachkala Airport (MCX) (   Russia)
Phase: Approach (APR)
Nature:Domestic Scheduled Passenger
Departure airport:Elista Airport (ESL/URWI), Russia
Destination airport:Makhachkala Airport (MCX/URML), Russia
A Yakovlev 40 passenger jet was destroyed when it flew into a mountainside near Makhachkala Airport (MCX), Russia. All 47 passengers and four crew members were killed.
The flight had departed Elista Airport (ESL) on a domestic flight to Makhachkala. During the descent into Makhachkala visibility decreased. The crew was not aware of its position and descended over a mountainous area. It collided with Kukurtbash Mountain at an elevation of 550 m.
It appeared there were 13 undocumented passengers on board. Yak-40 aircraft are normally equipped with 32 passenger seats.
Also, the maximum takeoff weight was exceeded by 260 kg.

Controlled Flight Into Terrain (CFIT) - Mountain

» Soviet Transports
» The Bryan Times - Nov 8, 1991


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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 Elista Airport to Makhachkala Airport as the crow flies is 472 km (295 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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Yakovlev Yak-40

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  • 67th loss
  • 32nd fatal accident
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