Poor visibility in fog forced the pilot of a Ukrainian-Mediterranean Yakovlev Yak-42 to go around at Trabzon airport, Turkey, before the aircraft crashed into high ground near Macka, 50km (29nm) south-south-west of the airport.

All 12 crew and 62 Spanish peacekeeping troops on board died when the chartered flight hit a mountain and caught fire. The soldiers were on their way to Spain following duty in Afghanistan.

Turkey's airport authority says the aircraft was making its approach to runway 29 using a VOR/distance measuring equipment (DME) non-precision approach, although there is an instrument landing system on the reciprocal runway 11.

Trabzon and its airport are on the southern shore of the Black Sea, and missed approaches for the runways initially turn over the sea to allow the aircraft to gain height before returning for another attempt.

The Yak-42, flying in from Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan, for a fuel stop at Trabzon, appears to have turned inland.

Initial statements by the Trabzon regional governor indicate that the aircraft was going around from its third approach attempt, the pilot having reported that he could not see the runway.

The flight data recorder has been recovered from the 15 year-old aircraft (UR-42352) by Turkish troops at the accident scene.

Source: Flight International