At Least 78 Killed In Ukraine Airshow Disaster (2024)

At Least 78 Killed In Ukraine Airshow Disaster (1)

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At Least 78 Killed In Ukraine Airshow Disaster As Jet Fighter Clips Runway

At Least 78 Killed In Ukraine Airshow Disaster (2)
The Sukhoi Su-27 moments before clipping the ground. Photos from Ukrainian television: AFP

Lviv - Jul 27, 2002
At least 78 people were killed and 115 injured Saturday when a Ukrainian airforce Sukhoi Su-27 jet smashed into crowds watching the finale of an airshow.

The tragedy occurred in the town of Sknyliv, near Lviv in western Ukraine, when the low-flying Russian-made jet appeared to lose control before hitting the ground and exploding into flames, sending debris flying into terrified onlookers.

Both pilots ejected to safety just moments before the plane hit the ground.

Many of the injured were hospitalised in critical condition with burns, fractures and head injuries.

Emergencies ministry official Ivan Gayduk said seven children were among the dead and that 115 people were injured, 70 of them seriously.

The unarmed twin-seater, twin-engined plane was performing an aerobatic manoeuvre involving a low pass, a defence ministry spokesman said.

"During a turn, the machine dipped its nose and started to lose altitude," a witness told AFP. "Two or three seconds later it landed on the grass and exploded only a fews yards (metres) from spectators who were hit by fragments."

Bodies, the injured and shattered bits of aircraft lay scattered around the airfield as blood-covered visitors stumbled from the scene in a state of shock.

"We started to run when we saw the plane falling," said one spectator: "If we hadn't we'd be among the dead now."

His nine-year-old daughter, still mute with terror, clutched her father as he held her in his arms.

No information had been made public officially on the causes of the accident by the end of the afteroon although the state attorney's office opened an enquiry.

But a number of witnesses pointed to a possible engine failure.

ITAR-TASS quoted a former fighter pilot and witness, Yaroslav Yantchak, as saying the plane appeared to stall while flying low: "All the spectators noticed the sudden silence," he said.

"The pilots were two very experienced colonels," a Ukrainian defence ministry spokesman added.

The government set up an enquiry body and announced that a distress fund of 10 million hryvnias, some 1.9 million euros (dollars), would be made available to support families afflicted by the tragedy.

It was the first accident of its kind since Ukraine became independent in 1991, a defence ministry spokesman said. "There have been crashes at airshows but never yet with victims among the spectators."

The pilots, who were not identified, were experienced flyers who had already performed for Ukraine at an international air show in Le Bourget, outside Paris. Officials did not say whether the pair had been injured.

Ukrainian President Leonid Kuchma broke off his vacation in Crimea to fly to the crash site, and he described the incident as a "terrible tragedy, a real nightmare".

"I will see that no family will go without government aid," he said of the victims, declaring Monday a national day of mourning.

It was the deadliest such accident in 14 years, following the death of 70 people at a 1988 air show on a US military base in Ramstein, then West Germany, when three planes collided.

In another major air show crash, 10 people were killed and 54 were injured in Ostende, Belgium when a Jordanian stunt plane burrowed into a Red Cross stand.

The Su-27, which went into service in 1984, is the precursor to a generation of Su-27UB fighter jets rolled out the following year. It weighs 16 tonnes when empty, 25 tonnes when fully loaded and can reach speeds of up to 2,500 kilometers per hour (1,500 miles per hour).

All rights reserved. � 2002 Agence France-Presse. Sections of the information displayed on this page (dispatches, photographs, logos) are protected by intellectual property rights owned by Agence France-Presse. As a consequence, you may not copy, reproduce, modify, transmit, publish, display or in any way commercially exploit any of the content of this section without the prior written consent of Agence France-Presse.

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At Least 78 Killed In Ukraine Airshow Disaster (3)Trial Flight Of Japanese Supersonic Jet Crashes In Australian desertAt Least 78 Killed In Ukraine Airshow Disaster (4)Sydney - Jul 14, 2002
The trial flight by Japanese scientists of a new generation of supersonic airliner intended to replace Concorde ended in a spectacular crash in the Australian outback.

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FAQs

What was the cause of the Sknyliv air show crash? ›

During the last maneuver—an oblique loop with a turn—the plane became uncontrollable. During the trial they said it was caused by pilot error due to inexperience.

What was the deadliest plane crash in Ukraine? ›

Malaysia Airlines flight 17, flight of a passenger airliner that crashed and burned in eastern Ukraine on July 17, 2014. All 298 people on board, most of whom were citizens of the Netherlands, died in the crash. A Dutch inquiry determined that the aircraft was shot down by a Russian-made surface-to-air missile.

What was the biggest airshow crash? ›

The Ramstein air show disaster occurred on Sunday, 28 August 1988 during the Flugtag '88 airshow at USAF Ramstein Air Base near Kaiserslautern, West Germany. Three aircraft of the Italian Air Force display team collided during their display, crashing to the ground in front of a crowd of about 300,000 people.

Who were the victims of the air show crash? ›

Thousands of spectators watched in horror as two World War II-era planes collided mid-air, tragically killing Len Root, Terry Barker, Craig Hutain, Kevin "K5" Michels, Dan Ragan, and Curt Rowe.

Who has the most air to air kills in US history? ›

Erich Hartmann is the most successful fighter pilot of all times – with 352 kills. A number that will never be surpassed. His nickname “Bubi” means “l*ttle boy” – and it's easy to find out why he was called like that. He was also called “The black devil”.

What is the best air show in America? ›

The annual EAA AirVenture event at Oshkosh, Wisconsin remains the largest aviation celebration in the world.

How many Blue Angels fly-in the air show? ›

During their aerobatic demonstration, the six-member team flies F/A-18 Hornets, split into the diamond formation (Blue Angels 1 through 4) and the Lead and Opposing Solos (Blue Angels 5 and 6). Most of the show alternates between maneuvers performed by the Diamond Formation and those performed by the Solos.

Which Ukrainian pilot was killed in action? ›

Vladislav Rykov, a highly experienced Ukrainian Air Force pilot, was killed in action on Feb. 7, the 299th Tactical Aviation Brigade reported on social media. Rykov "had 385 sorties under his belt — he was the best pilot and commander I knew," fellow Air Force pilot Rostyslav Lazarenko posted on Facebook.

What is the fastest jet in the world? ›

According to BBC Science Focus, the NASA X-43 was the fastest aircraft ever made, with an extraordinary speed of Mach 9.6, or 7,366 mph. Coming in second place is the NASA/USAF X-15, with a max speed of 4,520 mph. However, the fastest fighter jets still in service is the MiG-25 Foxbat, reaching 2,190 mph.

Where is the biggest plane in the world? ›

The Mriya routinely attracted a high degree of public interest, attaining a global following due to its size and its uniqueness. The only completed An-225 was destroyed in the Battle of Antonov Airport during the 2022 Russian invasion of Ukraine.

How often do planes crash at airshows? ›

The civil air show crash rate was 31 crashes per 1,000 civil air events. Of the 174 civil air show crashes that occurred during the study period, 91 (52%) involved at least one fatality; on average, 1.1 people died per fatal crash.

How many people died at Oshkosh? ›

OSHKOSH - Four people who died in two separate crashes Saturday during the Experimental Aircraft Association's AirVenture convention have been identified. During the first crash at 9 a.m., a single-engine plane crashed into Lake Winnebago carrying two people, who died at the scene.

What caused the Texas Airshow crash? ›

According to witnesses, the P-63F executed a high-speed descending banked turn onto the runway approach, colliding with the B-17 and causing both planes to break apart and burst into flames.

What was the cause of the Air Blue crash? ›

The main factors contributing to the accident included the Captain's violation of approach procedures and the First Officer's failure to challenge his superior's decisions. The aircraft was cleared only for a visual approach with the ground in sight.

What caused flight 3272 crash? ›

In addition, the NTSB determined the following issues were factors in the crash: inadequate certification standards for icing conditions, the FAA's failure to ensure an approved protocol for the airplane's deicing system was used by U.S.-based air carriers, along with the FAA's failure to establish minimum airspeeds ...

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