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Date:Sunday 16 December 1973
Type:Tupolev Tu-124V
Operator:Aeroflot / Lithuania
Registration: CCCP-45061
MSN: 4351406
First flight: 1964
Total airframe hrs:14903
Engines: 2 Soloviev D-20P
Crew:Fatalities: 6 / Occupants: 6
Passengers:Fatalities: 45 / Occupants: 45
Total:Fatalities: 51 / Occupants: 51
Aircraft damage: Damaged beyond repair
Location:near Karacharovo (   Russia)
Phase: En route (ENR)
Nature:Domestic Scheduled Passenger
Departure airport:Vilnius Airport (VNO/EYVI), Lithuania
Destination airport:Moskva-Vnukovo Airport (VKO/UUWW), Russia
The Tu-124 was descending towards Moscow when, at 8000 m, a short circuit occurred in the elevator trim system. The horizontal stabilizer moved to a position which put the Tupolev in a dive and a resulting spin. The crew brought the plane under control at an altitude of about 2000 m. Because of a loss of situational awareness and a gyro that had failed due to loads sustained in the dive, he crew again lost control of the airplane. They were unable to regain control and the aircraft crashed.

Electrical system problem
Horizontal stabilizer
Loss of control

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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 Vilnius Airport to Moskva-Vnukovo Airport as the crow flies is 762 km (476 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-124

  • 112 built
  • 10th loss
  • 6th fatal accident
  • The worst accident (at the time)
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  • 20th worst accident (at the time)
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