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Date:Friday 18 May 1973
Type:Tupolev Tu-104B
Operator:Aeroflot, East Siberia Civil Aviation Directorate
Registration: CCCP-42379
MSN: 8350403
First flight: 1958
Total airframe hrs:19329
Engines: 2 Mikulin AM-3M-500
Crew:Fatalities: 9 / Occupants: 9
Passengers:Fatalities: 72 / Occupants: 72
Total:Fatalities: 81 / Occupants: 81
Aircraft damage: Destroyed
Aircraft fate: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Location:97 km (60.6 mls) W of Chita (   Russia)
Phase: En route (ENR)
Nature:Domestic Scheduled Passenger
Departure airport:Irkutsk Airport (IKT/UIII), Russia
Destination airport:Chita Airport (HTA/UIAA), Russia
The airplane was operating flight 109 from Moscow to Chita and took off from Moscow's Domodedovo Airport at 18:12 on May 17. After landing in Chelyabinsk and Novosibirsk, the Tu-104 arrived at Irkutsk, where the crew changed. The new crew took off at 03:02 Moscow time (09:02 local time) on May 18. At 09:15 the crew reported having reached an altitude of 9000 m.
At 09:32 the controller at Chita cleared the flight to descend to 3900 m. At 09:36 the flight reported they had leveled off at 6500 m because it had been hijacked. Three minutes later the aircraft disappeared from radar.
The remains of the aircraft were found in the taiga over a stretch of 10 km.
It was determined that the hijacker carried a TNT explosive device weighing 5,5-6 kg. He was shot by an armed security officer on the aircraft. The hijacker almost immediately denoted the explosives. The blast breached the fuselage, causing an explosive decompression. The aircraft then broke up and crashed.

Explosive decompression
Loss of control

» Soviet Transports
» Aviation Disasters / D. Gero


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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 Irkutsk Airport to Chita Airport as the crow flies is 604 km (378 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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Tupolev Tu-104

  • 207 built
  • 24th loss
  • 15th fatal accident
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