ASN Aircraft accident Tupolev Tu-134A CCCP-65816 Kurilovka
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Date:Saturday 11 August 1979
Type:Silhouette image of generic T134 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Tupolev Tu-134A
Operator:Aeroflot / Moldova
Registration: CCCP-65816
MSN: 4352210
First flight: 1974
Total airframe hrs:12739
Engines: 2 Soloviev D-30
Crew:Fatalities: 6 / Occupants: 6
Passengers:Fatalities: 88 / Occupants: 88
Total:Fatalities: 94 / Occupants: 94
Collision casualties:Fatalities: 84
Aircraft damage: Destroyed
Aircraft fate: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Location:3,5 km (2.2 mls) SE of Kurilovka (   Ukraine)
Phase: En route (ENR)
Nature:Domestic Scheduled Passenger
Departure airport:Voronezh Airport (VOZ/UUOO), Russia
Destination airport:Kishinev Airport (KIV/LUKK), Moldova
Two Tupolev Tu-134A passenger jets were involved in a mid-air collision near Kurilovka, Soviet Union (now Ukraine).
Aeroflot flight 7880, registration CCCP-65735, operated on a flight from Tashkent to Minsk via Donetsk. It departed Donetsk at 13:11 hours. There were seven crew members and 77 passengers on board, including players and coaches of the football team Pakhtakor, heading for a USSR Football Championship game in Minsk.
Aeroflot flight 7628, registration CCCP-65816, operated on a flight from Chelyabinsk to Kishinev (now named Chisinau) via Voronezh. The flight departed Voronezh at 12:54. There were six crew members and 88 passengers on board.
At 13:17 flight 7628 entered the Southwest sector of the Kharkiv's regional air traffic control area at an altitude of 8400 m. A request, and two subsequent requests, by the crew to climb to 9600 m were denied because of other traffic in the area.
At 13:25, flight 7880 reported entering the sector at 5700 meters and requested to continue their climb to 9600 m. The controller initially cleared the flight to 7200 m and subsequently to 8400 m. Both flights were now at the same altitude, on crossing airways. The controller had calculated that the aircraft would be 3 minutes apart at that point. in fact, this was less than a minute.
The supervisor of the Southwest sector noticed this and intervened. At 13:34 the supervisor instructed flight 7880 to climb to 9000 meters.
A muffled response was heard by the supervisor, who assumed this was a read back from flight 7780.
At 13:35:38, while in the clouds at an altitude of 8400 meters, both aircraft collided at an angle of 95°. The cockpit of CCCP-65816 collided with the right wing of CCCP-65735. After the collision, both aircraft both aircraft entered a spin and started to break up.
The debris fell to the ground in a large area near the villages of Kurilovka, Nikolaevka and Elizavetovka.

Probable Cause:

Conclusion: the cause of the catastrophe was errors and violations of the requirements of the NPP GA-78, made by the controller of the South-Western sector and the controller-instructor in terms of the appointment of flight levels and ensuring the established intervals between the aircraft, and compliance with the rules of radio exchange phraseology.

Mid air collision
Loss of control

» Soviet Transports
» Flight International 25 August 1979


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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 Voronezh Airport to Kishinev Airport as the crow flies is 915 km (572 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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Tupolev Tu-134

  • 725 built
  • 18th loss
  • 10th fatal accident
  • The worst accident
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  • 2nd worst accident (at the time)
  • 4th worst accident (currently)
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