HB-HOT, the Ju 52 involved in the accident, photographed in 2009
|Date||4 August 2018|
|Site|| Piz Segnas mountain, Glarus Alps, Switzerland |
|Aircraft type||Junkers Ju 52/3mg4e|
|Flight origin||Locarno Airport|
|Destination||Dübendorf Air Base|
On 4 August 2018, a Junkers Ju 52 passenger aircraft operated by Ju-Air crashed near Piz Segnas, Switzerland, while en route from Locarno to Dübendorf. All 20 people on board were killed.
The Junkers Ju 52/3m is a German transport aircraft manufactured from 1931 to 1952, initially designed with a single engine but subsequently produced as a trimotor. It had both civilian and military service during the 1930s and 1940s. In a civilian role, it flew with over 12 air carriers including Swissair and Deutsche Luft Hansa as an airliner and freight hauler. In a military role, it flew with the Luftwaffe as a troop and cargo transport and briefly as a medium bomber. The Ju 52 continued in postwar service with military and civilian air fleets well into the 1980s. The aircraft has continued to be used well beyond that date for purposes such as sightseeing.
Piz Segnas is a mountain in the Glarus Alps, located on the border between the cantons of Glarus and Graubünden. Piz Sardona is on the same ridge to the north, from where the Trinserhorn or Piz Dolf lies to the southeast. The Tschingelhoerner with the famous Martinsloch lies to the west, with the Pass dil Segnas between the two mountains.
Locarno is a southern Swiss town and municipality in the district Locarno, located on the northern shore of Lake Maggiore at its northeastern tip in the canton of Ticino at the southern foot of the Swiss Alps. It has a population of about 16,000 (proper), and about 56,000 for the agglomeration of the same name including Ascona besides other municipalities.
It was the first fatal crash of a Ju-Air aircraft since the company began operations in 1982. The cause of the crash is under investigation.
The aircraft was flying from Locarno Airport to Dübendorf Air Base, on the return leg of a two-day trip. The weather was unseasonably warm with choppy winds. 2,540 metres (8,330 ft).At 16:56 local time on 4 August (14:56 UTC), the Junkers crashed into Piz Segnas mountain, at an elevation of
Locarno Airport, , mil ICAO code LSMO, is an airport located near the city of Locarno, Ticino, Switzerland. It is a mixed civilian and military airport. The airfield is used simultaneously by civilian aircraft and the Swiss Air Force from the "airfield command Locarno". Although they use the same runways, the Swiss Air Force has its own taxiways and parking and a large hangar. It is located in the community of Gordola, seven kilometers from the Locarno City center. The nearest stop to the Swiss Federal Railways is the 2 km distant station Riazzino of railway Giubiasco Locarno.
Militärflugplatz Dübendorf is a military airfield northeast of Dübendorf in Switzerland, located east of Zürich.
Coordinated Universal Time is the primary time standard by which the world regulates clocks and time. It is within about 1 second of mean solar time at 0° longitude, and is not adjusted for daylight saving time. In some countries where English is spoken, the term Greenwich Mean Time (GMT) is often used as a synonym for UTC and predates UTC by nearly 300 years.
Swiss authorities stated that the plane appeared to have crashed almost vertically and at high speed. A witness at nearby Segnas Pass saw the Junkers approaching from the south and fly by the Martinsloch, a distinctive 18-metre-wide (60 ft) breakthrough, or hole, in the Tschingelhörner mountain ridge, next to the pass. Then, instead of flying over the ridge, the aircraft made a sharp turn, dived vertically and crashed onto the plateau below. Around 10 minutes before the crash, another witness had observed the Ju 52 suddenly banking sharply to the left and losing altitude, before increasing engine power and recovering to normal flight.
The aircraft was carrying three crew and seventeen passengers,all of them Swiss apart from an Austrian couple and their son. Nine of the people aboard were women and eleven were men.
The aircraft involved was a tri-motor Junkers Ju 52/3mg4e, registration HB-HOT, msn 6595. It had served with the Swiss Air Force from 1939 to 1985, when it was acquired by Ju-Air, a company that offers sightseeing flights on vintage aircraft, and had logged 10,000 hours of flight time.It had been used in the films Where Eagles Dare (1968) and Valkyrie (2008) and the 2012 German movie Bis zum Horizont, dann links! . The aircraft had been issued with a certificate of airworthiness by the Federal Office of Civil Aviation (FOCA) on 6 April 2018, valid for two years.
An aircraft registration is a code unique to a single aircraft, required by international convention to be marked on the exterior of every civil aircraft. The registration indicates the aircraft's country of registration, and functions much like an automobile license plate. This code must also appear in its Certificate of Registration, issued by the relevant National Aviation Authority (NAA). An aircraft can only have one registration, in one jurisdiction, though it is changeable over the life of the aircraft.
The Swiss Air Force is the air component of the Swiss Armed Forces, established on 31 July 1914 as part of the army and in October 1936 as an independent service.
Where Eagles Dare is a 1968 British Metrocolor World War II action film directed by Brian G. Hutton and starring Richard Burton, Clint Eastwood and Mary Ure. It was distributed by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, filmed in Panavision, and shot on location in Austria and Bavaria. Alistair MacLean wrote the novel of the same name and the screenplay at the same time. It was his first screenplay; both film and book became commercial successes.
On the day of the crash, the Junkers was piloted by two veteran captains, aged 62 and 63. Both had extensive experience as pilots for Swissair, Swiss and Edelweiss, as well as more than 30 years of militia service with the Swiss Air Force. Both also had several hundred flight hours' worth of experience with the Ju 52.The third crew member was a 66-year-old flight attendant, also with 40 years of professional experience.
Swissair AG/S.A. was the national airline of Switzerland between its founding in 1931 and bankruptcy in 2002.
Swiss International Air Lines AG, commonly referred to as Swiss, is the national airline of Switzerland, operating scheduled services in Europe and to North America, South America, Africa and Asia. Zurich Airport is its hub, Geneva Airport is a focus city. The airline was formed following the bankruptcy in 2002 of Swissair, Switzerland's then flag carrier. The new airline was built around what had been Swissair's regional subsidiary, Crossair. Swiss retains Crossair's IATA code LX. It assumed Swissair's old ICAO code of SWR, to maintain international traffic rights. It is a member of Star Alliance and a subsidiary of the Lufthansa Group. Its headquarters are at EuroAirport Basel Mulhouse Freiburg near Basel, Switzerland, and an office at Zurich Airport in Kloten, Switzerland. The company's registered office is in Basel.
Edelweiss Air is a Swiss leisure airline wholly owned by Swiss International Air Lines which in turn is owned by Lufthansa. It operates flights to European and intercontinental destinations from its base at Zürich Airport.
Hiking routes and the local airspace were closed off for the duration of the recovery operation, which involved five helicopters.
Ju-Air suspended all flights by its other Ju 52 aircraft for two weeks, until they resumed operations on 17 August under stricter conditions.
Following a review in March 2019, while the accident investigation was still ongoing, the FOCA banned Ju-Air from conducting commercial passenger flights with Ju 52s, allowing only private flights for club members. It was deemed that historical aircraft such as the Ju 52 no longer meet current safety requirements for commercial passenger transport.
The accident is being investigated jointly by the Swiss Transportation Safety Investigation Board (STSB) and the cantonal police of Grisons on behalf of the federal and cantonal prosecutors' offices.
A spokesperson for the STSB said that the Junkers "fell like a stone to the ground",and that the heatwave in Europe could have been a factor in the crash, as heat reduces an aircraft's climb performance. The police indicated that no distress signal was received from the aircraft prior to the crash. Investigators ruled out a collision with a cable or another aircraft, and said that there was no indication of foul play or the aircraft losing parts before the crash. The aircraft was not fitted with any flight recorders. Investigators are hoping to find some relevant information from passengers' personal photographic and video recordings during the sightseeing flight. The STSB issued its preliminary report on 15 August 2018. An intermediate report was issued on 20 November 2018, citing anterior corrosion marks and cracks, not related to the accident, which effectively grounded the two remaining Ju-52 of Ju-Air (HB-HOP and HB-HOS) until further investigation of these airframe and engine issues.
The Societé Anonyme Belge d'Exploitation de la Navigation Aérienne,, better known internationally by the acronym Sabena or SABENA, was the national airline of Belgium from 1923 to 2001, with its base at Brussels National Airport. After its bankruptcy in 2001, the newly formed SN Brussels Airlines took over part of Sabena's assets in February 2002, which became Brussels Airlines after a merger with Virgin Express in March 2007. The airline's corporate headquarters were located in the Sabena House on the grounds of Brussels Airport in Zaventem.
In aviation, an accident is defined by the Convention on International Civil Aviation Annex 13 as an occurrence associated with the operation of an aircraft, which takes place from the time any person boards the aircraft with the intention of flight until all such persons have disembarked, and in which a) a person is fatally or seriously injured, b) the aircraft sustains significant damage or structural failure, or c) the aircraft goes missing or becomes completely inaccessible. Annex 13 defines an incident as an occurrence, other than an accident, associated with the operation of an aircraft that affects or could affect the safety of operation.
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Crossair Flight LX 3597 was a scheduled flight from Berlin Tegel Airport, in Germany, to Zürich Airport, in Switzerland. On 24 November 2001, the Crossair Avro RJ100 operating the route, registration HB-IXM, crashed into a wooded range of hills near Bassersdorf and caught fire, killing 24 of the 33 people on board.
On 16 November 1937 a Junkers Ju 52/3m owned by Belgian airline SABENA, operating as a scheduled international passenger flight from Cologne, Germany, to London, England, crashed near Ostend, Belgium. The aircraft hit a tall factory chimney while attempting to land at Steene aerodrome near Ostend, Belgium. The accident killed prominent members of the Hesse royal family on the way to London for the wedding of Louis, Prince of Hesse and by Rhine.
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Suicide by pilot is an event in which a certified or uncertified pilot deliberately crashes or attempts to crash an aircraft in a suicide attempt, sometimes to kill passengers on board or people on the ground. This is sometimes described as a murder–suicide. It is suspected as being a possible cause of the crashes of several commercial flights and is confirmed as the cause in others. Generally, it is difficult for crash investigators to determine the motives of the pilots, since they sometimes act deliberately to turn off recording devices or otherwise hinder future investigations. As a result, pilot suicide can be difficult to prove with certainty.
The Lufttransportdienst des Bundes (LTDB) ,operates the aircraft and helicopters of the Swiss government. The LTDB is located at Bern Airport. Since 2005, the LTDB has been part of the Swiss Air Force. Prior to that, she was assigned to the Federal Office of Civil Aviation.
Iran Aseman Airlines Flight 3704 was a scheduled Iranian domestic passenger flight from Tehran to Yasuj operated by Iran Aseman Airlines. On 18 February 2018, the aircraft serving the flight, an ATR 72-212, crashed into Mount Dena in the Zagros Mountains near Noqol village in Semirom county, Isfahan Province. All 6 crew and 60 passengers aboard were killed.
US-Bangla Airlines Flight 211 was a scheduled international passenger flight by US-Bangla Airlines from Shahjalal International Airport in Dhaka, Bangladesh to Tribhuvan International Airport in Kathmandu, Nepal. On 12 March 2018, the aircraft serving the flight, a 78-seater Bombardier Dash 8 Q400, crashed on landing, and burst into flames. There were 67 passengers and 4 crew members on board; 52 people died, while 19 survived.
Sie fliegt Richtung Norden. Am Martinsloch vorbei. Anstatt über den Grat zu fliegen, geht das Flugzeug in eine scharfe Kurve. Felder rennt nach draussen. Die Ju 52 kippt unvermittelt in den Sturzflug. Ein dumpfer Einschlag. Das Flugzeug prallt senkrecht auf dem Hochplateau unter dem Martinsloch auf. «Als hätte man ein Lot aufgestellt», sagt Feldner. Anflug, Kurve, Absturz. «Es hat keine 15 Sekunden gedauert.»