Loss of control Accident Tupolev Tu-134B-3 VN-A120, Wednesday 3 September 1997
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Date:Wednesday 3 September 1997
Type:Silhouette image of generic T134 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different    
Tupolev Tu-134B-3
Owner/operator:Vietnam Airlines
Registration: VN-A120
MSN: 66360
Year of manufacture:1984
Total airframe hrs:11723 hours
Cycles:8209 flights
Engine model:Soloviev D-30-III
Fatalities:Fatalities: 65 / Occupants: 66
Other fatalities:0
Aircraft damage: Destroyed, written off
Location:Phnom Penh-Pochentong Airport (PNH) -   Cambodia
Phase: Approach
Nature:Passenger - Scheduled
Departure airport:Ho Chi Minh City-Tan Son Nhat International Airport (SGN/VVTS)
Destination airport:Phnom Penh-Pochentong Airport (PNH/VDPP)
Confidence Rating: Information verified through data from accident investigation authorities
Vietnam Airlines flight VN815, a Tupolev 134, impacted terrain short of the runway while attempting to land at Phnom Penh-Pochentong Airport, Cambodia in inclement weather conditions. A one-year old baby boy survived the accident.
Minutes before the crash, a slight drizzle had turned into a heavy downpour. Yet, the captain failed to act upon warnings from the flight engineer and first officer that the plane was flying too low. Instead he ordered the crew to look for the runway.
"Don't see, don't see, captain! Turn back," the first officer responded. The aircraft then struck the palm tree. The captain then initiated an attempt to abort the approach. This failed as the aircraft struck several palm trees, damaging the left wing. The aircraft crashed into rice fields about 300 m short of the runway.


Flight International 3-9 June 1998 (p.12)
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  • 9th worst accident in 1997
  • 11th worst accident of this aircraft type
  • 11th worst accident of this aircraft type at the time



photo (c) via Werner Fischdick; ?; February 1991

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