ASN Aircraft accident Tupolev Tu-134A-3 RA-65080 Buchalki
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Date:Tuesday 24 August 2004
Type:Silhouette image of generic T134 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Tupolev Tu-134A-3
Registration: RA-65080
MSN: 60065
First flight: 1977
Engines: 2 Soloviev D-30-III
Crew:Fatalities: 9 / Occupants: 9
Passengers:Fatalities: 35 / Occupants: 35
Total:Fatalities: 44 / Occupants: 44
Aircraft damage: Destroyed
Aircraft fate: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Location:near Buchalki (   Russia)
Phase: En route (ENR)
Nature:Domestic Scheduled Passenger
Departure airport:Moskva-Domodedovo Airport (DME/UUDD), Russia
Destination airport:Volgograd Airport (VOG/URWW), Russia
Volga-Aviaexpress Flight 1303, a Tupolev Tu-134, departed Moscow about 22:30 for a flight to Volgograd, Russia. At an altitude of 8100 m an explosion occurred inside cabin on the right hand side on seat row 19. An explosive decompression followed and the aircraft entered a descent. It subsequently broke up and crashed, killing all 44 on board.

It crashed almost simultaneously with a Sibir Tupolev Tu-154 which had also departed Domodedovo earlier that night. Traces of an explosive device were found in the wreckage. It appeared that the explosives had been carried aboard by a female passenger. Two female suicide bombers arrived at Moscow at 19:45 on the same day on a flight from Makhachkala in the company of another two Chechens. They had taken aside on arrival and were handed to a police captain in charge of antiterrorist precautions, but they were released without apparently having been searched. Both women then bought tickets on the Sibir flight to Sochi and the Volga-Aviaexpress to Volgograd from a black-market peddler. After bribing a Sibir Airlines employee in charge of check-in and boarding one of the women was able to bypass security and get on board the Tupolev Tu-154.

Probable Cause:

The cause of the crashes of Tu-154 RA 85556 and Tu-134 RA 65080 aircrafts on August 24, 2004 was the destruction of aircraft construction in flight as a result of the impact of explosive charges.

Explosive decompression
Loss of control

» Ministry of Transport of the Russian Federation


photo of Tupolev-Tu-134A-3-RA-65080
accident date: 24-08-2004
type: Tupolev Tu-134A-3
registration: RA-65080

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 Moskva-Domodedovo Airport to Volgograd Airport as the crow flies is 851 km (532 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
  • 70th loss
  • 34th fatal accident
  • 17th worst accident (at the time)
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