In 1986, two Russian airline pilots got into an argument over wether one could land the plane without vision. The main pilot pulled the curtains over the windows, insisting he could. Then, the plane missed the runway, flipped and killed 70 of the passengers

Aeroflot Flight 6502

Aeroflot Flight 6502 was a Soviet domestic passenger flight operated by a Tupolev Tu-134A from Sverdlovsk (now Yekaterinburg) to Grozny, which crashed on 20 October 1986. 70 of the 94 passengers and crew on board were killed. Investigators determined the cause of the accident to be pilot negligence.

Background

The crew of the Tu-134A aircraft, serial number 62327 manufactured on 28 June 1979, consisted of pilot in command Alexander Kliuyev, co-pilot Gennady Zhirnov, navigating officer Ivan Mokhonko, flight engineer Kyuri Khamzatov and three flight attendants. Having departed from Koltsovo Airport in Yekaterinburg (then Sverdlovsk) and bound for Grozny, Flight 6502 had one stopover in Kurumoch Airport of Samara (then Kuibyshev).

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5 thoughts on “In 1986, two Russian airline pilots got into an argument over wether one could land the plane without vision. The main pilot pulled the curtains over the windows, insisting he could. Then, the plane missed the runway, flipped and killed 70 of the passengers”

  1. drunkpunk138

    There are moments in life where I can’t help but think, “is it really worth arguing over this?”. This is one of those moments I’d probably let him have it.

  2. BKStephens

    “Best two out of three?”

  3. Fantastic-Bug-6028

    Curtains in a plane tho

  4. couldof_used_couldve

    “we landed, told you”

    But we…

    “We did a 180 backflip, I know I know, I should stop showing off”

  5. sleepyprojectionist

    I’m not suggesting anyone try it, but with synthetic vision and GPS approaches, I dare say this is probably very doable nowadays.

    Runways with CAT III approaches allow landing in very low visibility for properly equipped aircraft and a crew trained in the procedure. A lot of airliners nowadays have an autoland feature and would be able to land in thick fog with zero intervention from the flight crew.

    Airbus’ ATTOL project takes this a step further. They developed a camera system to augment the autopilot so that an A350 was able to taxi, take-off, navigate and land completely autonomously.

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