Uzbek Yak-40 crashes in Tashkent

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An Uzbekistan Airways Yakovlev Yak-40 crashed in fog during an attempt to land at Tashkent's Vostochny airport, on a 13 January domestic flight, killing all four crew and 32 passengers on board. The country's attorney general Rashitzhon Kodirov says the aircraft hit a concrete barrier at the airfield boundary, but other sources say the obstacle was a light stanchion.

The regional jet (UK-87985), powered by three Ivchenko AI-25 engines, was carrying an almost full passenger load on a scheduled flight from Termez. The wind at the time of landing was light and variable, the visibility reported as 600-900m (2,000-3,000ft) and forecast to reduce, and the temperature and dew point were the same at 1°C (34°F). The CIS Interstate Aviation Committee (MAK), which is to oversee the investigation, says the flight data and cockpit voice recorders have been recovered. Local reports suggest the aircraft flew low along the runway and it was at the far end that it hit the obstacle, but this has not been made clear by the MAK.

Uzbekistan Airways suffered a fatal Yak-40 crash in August 1999 at Turtkul, when it hit power lines during a go-around. The aircraft belly landed and two of the 33 people on board were killed.

All nine of Austrian Airlines' Fokker 70 regional twinjets have been grounded after the airline found that the engine ice impact protection panels had been damaged or were detached in many of them. On 5 January one of the fleet made a safe forced landing in fields short of Munich airport, Germany, because its available engine power had reduced so much it could not reach the runway (Flight International, 13-19 January). Engine icing, together with detached ice impact panels, were believed to have been a factor.