May 01, 1997

How Friendly the Sky?

On March 18, an aging, 48-seat Stavropol Airlines An-24 turboprop plane took off from Stavropol Airport, en route to Trabzon, on the Northern Coast of Turkey. Thirty-seven minutes into the flight, the tail of the plane broke off in midair, causing the plane to plunge from the sky, killing all 50 passengers and crew. The air accident was the worst domestic airline disaster in Russia since the December 7, 1995 crash of a Tupolev-154 in the Russian Far East, which killed 97 persons. This tragic accident provides a graphic backdrop for this month’s Practical Traveler column on air safety in Russia – an article planned well in advance of the Stavropol crash.


The root of the problem

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