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By Patrick Mondout

On August 11, 1979, a pair of Aeroflot Tu-134s collided at 8000 feet over Dneprodzerzhinsk, in the Ukraine as the result of an error by the air traffic control (ATC). All 178 aboard both planes were killed in the worst ever mid-air collision (a 1996 collision between a Saudi 747 and a Russian Il-76 west of India would nearly double the record to 349 dead).

Aeroflot Tu-134

An Aeroflot Tu-134 similar to the ones involved in this crash, as seen in Stockholm in August 1978.

Image courtesy of AirNikon. Find more of his photos at


Source: World Book Encyclopedia, 1980 Yearbook.

Aeroflot at a Glance
DateAugust 11, 1979
Registration NumberSSSR-65735/SSSR-65816
Crew Fatalities7 of 7 + 7 of 7
Passenger Fatalities87 of 87 + 77 of 77
Total Fatalities94 of 94 + 84 of 84 = 178

Air Safety References:
Bartelski, Jan. Disasters in the Air: Mysterious Air Disasters Explained. Airlife Publishing: England, 2001.
Beaty, David. The Naked Pilot: The Human Factor in Aircraft Accidents. Airlife Publishing: England, 1996.
Cushing, Steven. Fatal Words: Communication Clashes and Aircraft Crashes University of Chicago Press: Chicago, 1997.
Faith, Nicholas. Black Box: The Air-Crash Detectives-Why Air Safety Is No Accident. Motorbooks International, 1997.
Gero, David. Aviation Disasters: The World's Major Civil Airliner Crashes Since 1950. Sutton, 2003.
Job, Macarthur. Air Disaster (Volume 1). Aerospace Publications: Fyshwick, Australia, 1995.
Job, Macarthur. Air Disaster (Volume 2). Aerospace Publications: Fyshwick, Australia, 1996.
Job, Macarthur. Air Disaster (Volume 3). Aerospace Publications: Fyshwick, Australia, 1999.
Krause, Shari Stamford. Aircraft Safety: Accident Investigations, Analyses & Applications. McGraw Hill, New York, 1996.
Macpherson, Malcolm. The Black Box : All-New Cockpit Voice Recorder Accounts Of In-flight Accidents. New York: William Morrow, 1998.
Macpherson, Malcolm. On a Wing and a Prayer: Interviews with Airline Disaster Survivors. Perennial, 2002.
Owen, David. Air Accident Investigation, 2nd Edition. Motorbooks International, 2002.
Stewart, Stanley. Emergency! - Crisis on the Flight Deck, 2nd Edition. Airlife Publishing, England, 2003.
Walters, James M. Aircraft Accident Analysis: Final Reports. McGraw-Hill Professional, 2000.
Wells, Alexander T. Commercial Aviation Safety, 3rd Edition. McGraw-Hill Professional, 2001.


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Airline: Aeroflot

Location: Near Donetsk in the Ukraine

Aircraft: Tupolev 134A (both)

Date: August 11, 1979

Total Fatalities: 94 of 94 + 84 of 84 = 178

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