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Fatal Mistake History: Accidentally Downed Passenger Airliners

A passenger Boeing 737 of Ukraine International Airlines (UIA), performing on Wednesday, January 8, a flight from Tehran to Kiev, crashed a few minutes after departure. The tragedy happened shortly after Iran fired missiles at American bases in neighboring Iraq. with the BBC.

Фото: Depositphotos

A few days later Iran recognizedthat the liner was shot down by his armed forces by mistake.

Cases of destruction of civilian aircraft by the military, who mistook them for military or reconnaissance, have occurred more than once. The Russian service of the BBC resembles the most famous of them.

1973: Boeing 727 in Egypt

The Libyan Arab Airlines Boeing 727-224 plane crashed in the vicinity of the city of Ismailia in Egypt. This happened as a result of an attack by the Israeli Air Force fighters.

The plane operated on the Tripoli - Benghazi - Cairo - Alexandria - Bahrain route. There were nine crew members and 104 passengers on board. The co-pilot and four passengers survived the accident.

The liner was supposed to land at the airport in Cairo, but due to difficulties with navigation, the plane lost its course and could not find the landing beacon. Boeing ended up on the territory of the Sinai Peninsula, occupied at that time by Israel.

The aircraft was spotted by radars, Israeli fighters headed towards it. They fired warning shots and showed the plane that it should land, but the pilot of the civilian plane misinterpreted the signals and, having already approached the airfield where he was ordered to land, took a course to the west, which was interpreted as an attempt to leave the Israeli-controlled airspace.

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As a result, the Israeli command decided that the plane had been hijacked and ordered to open fire to kill. The fighters fired several bursts of cannon at the plane. The pilots made an emergency landing in the desert and the plane crashed into a dune. 108 people died, five survived, including the co-pilot.

Israel argued the decision of the command that the security situation on the peninsula was aggravated, and the crew of the passenger liner behaved ambiguously.

As the surviving pilot subsequently said, the crew realized only a few minutes before the attack that the ship was over the Sinai Peninsula, but did not begin to land because of the difficult relationship between Libya and Israel.

30 member countries of the International Civil Aviation Organization voted to condemn Israel. Israeli authorities later paid compensation to the families of the victims.

1978: Boeing 707 in Karelia

On April 20, 1978, Soviet troops shot down a Korean Air aircraft en route Paris - Anchorage - Seoul. Having deviated from the course due to navigation errors, the plane ended up over the Kola Peninsula, violating the USSR air border.

He was mistaken for a reconnaissance ship. The pilot of the Su-15 fighter-interceptor flew to the side and reported that the plane was civilian. They did not believe him and gave the order to destroy the plane. The fighter fired an air-to-air missile, damaging the engine and wing of the liner, after which the liner was forced to land on the ice of Lake Korpiyarvi in ​​Karelia.

According to the testimony of the ship's captain, the interceptor approached the aircraft from the right side, and not from the left, as required by the rules of the International Civil Aviation Organization. The captain claimed that he slowed down and turned on the navigation lights, indicating that he was ready to follow the Soviet fighter for landing.

According to Soviet data, the aircraft crew repeatedly did not respond to requests from the ground, and then to landing signals.

As a result of the shelling, two passengers died: a Japanese and a Korean. After a short stay in the Karelian city of Kem, the remaining 95 passengers, along with 12 crew members, were transported to Helsinki, from where they flew out with the bodies of the victims.

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Nine days after the incident, the ship's commander and navigator were also able to fly out of the country. As TASS reported then, they admitted to violating Soviet airspace and ignoring the order of the interceptor to land, and also applied for a pardon to the Presidium of the Supreme Council, which satisfied him and expelled them from the USSR.

Pilots, after being expelled from the Soviet Union, said they did not ask for pardon.

The USSR issued an invoice to South Korea for 100 thousand US dollars (today this amount is equivalent to approximately 392 thousand US dollars) for passenger service. This bill was never paid. South Korea did not make any claims of the USSR; between them at that time there was no diplomatic relations.

The Korean company did not pick up the damaged plane. As a result, it was disassembled and left in the USSR.

1983: Boeing 747 over Sakhalin

The Korean Air plane was shot down over the territory of the USSR in 1983. The Boeing 747 airliner operated a flight from New York to Anchorage to Seoul with 23 crew members and 246 passengers on board.

For an unknown reason, the plane, instead of flying over the neutral waters of the Pacific Ocean, began to deviate to the right of the course. It is believed that this happened due to improper installation of the autopilot. The ship flew over Kamchatka, and then over the island of Sakhalin. There he was intercepted by a Soviet Su-15 fighter.

It happened at night. The crew did not respond to warning shots from the airborne gun. The fighter pilot subsequently recalled that he did not have tracer shells that leave a bright and clearly visible mark. So I had to shoot ordinary, which the crew of the liner could simply not notice.

As a result, the command gave the order to shoot down the plane - and the interceptor fired two missiles at it. The ship crashed into the waters of the Sea of ​​Japan near Moneron Island west of Sakhalin. All passengers and crew members were killed. Among them was a member of the US House of Representatives Larry MacDonald.

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Almost no remains of the dead were found; divers found several pairs of shoes and personal items, as well as fragments of several bodies that could not be identified.

The Politburo of the CPSU Central Committee said that it was a deliberate provocation by the United States, who allegedly wanted to test the combat readiness of the Soviet air defense system or even provoke military action. The United States in response accused the Soviet Union of obstructing search and rescue operations.

This incident was one of the most stressful moments of the Cold War. It led to another deterioration in relations between the USSR and Western countries.

U.S. President Ronald Reagan then said that the GPS, originally developed for military purposes, would become available to civilians as soon as it was finalized. The United States began to launch many new experimental satellites to test the system.

1988: A300 over the Persian Gulf

In 1988, a disaster with a large number of victims (290 people) occurred over the Persian Gulf. This is the most massive death of passengers in the history of incidents involving the Airbus A300.

An Iran Air plane flew Tehran - Bandar Abbas - Dubai. Seven minutes after taking off from Bandar Abbas, flying over the Persian Gulf, he was shot down by a missile fired from the American missile cruiser Vincennes.

The US government said that the Iran Air airliner was mistakenly identified as the Iranian Air Force F-14 fighter. According to the American side, the cruiser’s crew made ten attempts to contact the aircraft on military and civilian radio frequencies, but received no response.

The Iranian government claimed that Vincennes deliberately attacked the flight. According to Iran, the plane gave signals in a mode that identified it as a civilian vessel, but not used by the Iranian air force.

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This event caused a lot of criticism in the USA. Many particularly criticized Captain Cruiser William Rogers for his aggressive actions in a tense and dangerous environment. Ronald Reagan sent a diplomatic note to the Iranian government, expressing his deep regret about what happened.

It wasn't until 1996 that the governments of the United States and Iran reached agreement on the plane crash at the International Court of Justice. The decision stated that the United States "recognized the July 3, 1988 aerial incident as a terrible human tragedy and expressed deep regret for the loss of life."

Despite the fact that US authorities did not recognize their legal responsibility, they voluntarily agreed to pay $ 61,8 million in compensation to the families of Iranian victims.

When asked in a BBC documentary in 2000, the US government stated in writing that they believed the incident could have happened due to the psychological state of the cruiser's eighteen crew members, which is called "script execution." This happens when people are under pressure.

In such a situation, the crew will carry out the training scenario, believing that it is real. And will ignore information contrary to the script. In this case, the scenario was an attack by a single military aircraft.

2001: Tu-154 over the Black Sea

On October 4, 2001, a Tu-154 of Siberia Airlines was supposed to fly to Novosibirsk from Tel Aviv, but an hour and 45 minutes after takeoff fell into the Black Sea. All 78 people on board were killed, mostly Israeli citizens.

According to the conclusion of the Interstate Aviation Committee (IAC), the plane was unintentionally shot down by an S-200 complex anti-aircraft missile. She launched the air defense services of Ukraine during the Russian-Ukrainian military exercises on the Crimean peninsula.

Because of the events of September 11, the US version of the attack was originally considered. Ukrainian military officials initially denied that their rocket shot down an airplane. They explained that the direction and range of the missiles did not correspond to the point at which the plane exploded. But a few days after the disaster, Ukraine pleaded guilty.

Defense Minister of Ukraine Oleksandr Kuzmuk apologized to the families and friends of the victims. At the same time, he said: "We know that we are involved in the tragedy, although its causes have not yet been fully established."

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According to the conclusion of the IAC investigation, which ended in 2004, a Tu-154 was hit by a rocket that exploded 15 meters above the aircraft body. It was found that she was launched from a place in the region of Feodosia. There at that time the exercises of the Ukrainian Air Defense Forces were taking place.

In 2003 Ukraine signed intergovernmental agreements with Russia and Israel on compensation to the relatives of those killed in the plane crash. She paid $ 200 for each victim - $ 7,8 million to Russia and $ 7,5 million to Israel.

Kiev has not legally pleaded guilty to the plane crash. Various courts of Ukraine have repeatedly denied compensation to Siberia Airlines. The last time the litigation was in 2012: then the appellate courts upheld the decision of the first instance court, which did not admit the guilt of the Ukrainian military in the plane crash.

Representatives of the airline announced their intention to appeal to the European Court of Human Rights, but did not. Her financial claims were never satisfied.

2014: Boeing 777 in eastern Ukraine

In 2014, a Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777 crashed on a MH17 flight from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur crashed in the skies over eastern Ukraine.

On board were 298 people. They all died. Most of the passengers on board were Dutch nationals. Citizens of Australia, Malaysia, Great Britain, Belgium, Canada, Indonesia, Germany, New Zealand and the Philippines also died.

On October 13, 2015, the Dutch Security Council commission, which was investigating the causes of the plane's crash, published a report stating that the plane had been shot down by a surface-to-air missile fired from a Buk air defense missile system.

According to the commission's conclusions, the Buk launcher from which the plane was shot down was delivered to the zone of armed conflict in eastern Ukraine from Russia.

In May 2018, the Joint Investigative Group (SSG) distributed a report stating that a missile fired by plane could have been delivered from a Russian military unit stationed near Kursk.

After the announcement of this conclusion, the Netherlands and Australia officially accused Russia of crashing the plane.

The Joint Investigation Team (JIT) released a report on June 19 last year, naming four suspects in the Buk missile launch.

According to investigators, Sergei Dubinsky, a retired officer of the GRU of the Russian army, Oleg Pulatov, lieutenant colonel of the Russian Airborne Forces, Leonid Kharchenko, a citizen of Ukraine, commander of the intelligence unit of the self-proclaimed “DPR”, and Igor Girkin (Strelkov), a citizen of Russia, may be involved in the crash of Boeing. who fought in the Donbass.

All four are put on the international wanted list, and the case will be referred to a Dutch court. The first court hearing will be held on March 9, 2020.

Russia has consistently denied allegations of involvement in the crash of Boeing. According to the Kremlin, Russia has no reason to completely trust the results of the investigation, because it was not allowed to conduct a full-fledged investigation. Russian Defense Ministry claims: the missile that shot down the Malaysia Airlines plane belonged to the Ukrainian military unit.

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