ASN Aircraft accident Tupolev Tu-134B-3 VN-A120 Phnom Penh-Pochentong Airport (PNH)
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Status:Information verified through authorities or other official sources.
Date:Wednesday 3 September 1997
Type:Silhouette image of generic T134 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Tupolev Tu-134B-3
Operator:Vietnam Airlines
Registration: VN-A120
MSN: 66360
First flight: 1984
Total airframe hrs:11723
Engines: 2 Soloviev D-30-III
Crew:Fatalities: 6 / Occupants: 6
Passengers:Fatalities: 59 / Occupants: 60
Total:Fatalities: 65 / Occupants: 66
Aircraft damage: Destroyed
Aircraft fate: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Location:Phnom Penh-Pochentong Airport (PNH) (   Cambodia)
Crash site elevation: 12 m (39 feet) amsl
Phase: Approach (APR)
Nature:International Scheduled Passenger
Departure airport:Ho Chi Minh City-Tan Son Nhat International Airport (SGN/VVTS), Vietnam
Destination airport:Phnom Penh-Pochentong Airport (PNH/VDPP), Cambodia
Vietnam Airlines flight VN815, a Tupolev 134, impacted terrain short of the runway while attempting to land at Phnom Penh-Pochentong Airport, Cambodia in inclement weather conditions. A one-year old baby boy survived the accident.
Minutes before the crash, a slight drizzle had turned into a heavy downpour. Yet, the captain failed to act upon warnings from the flight engineer and first officer that the plane was flying too low. Instead he ordered the crew to look for the runway.
"Don't see, don't see, captain! Turn back," the first officer responded. The aircraft then struck the palm tree. The captain then initiated an attempt to abort the approach. This failed as the aircraft struck several palm trees, damaging the left wing. The aircraft crashed into rice fields about 300 m short of the runway.

Loss of control

» Flight International 3-9 June 1998 (p.12)
» ICAO Adrep


photo of Tupolev-Tu-134B-3-VN-A120
accident date: 03-09-1997
type: Tupolev Tu-134B-3
registration: VN-A120

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 Ho Chi Minh City-Tan Son Nhat International Airport to Phnom Penh-Pochentong Airport as the crow flies is 212 km (133 miles).

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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