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Two "Big" Jets collide over southern Germany
Reuters reporting that at 6:00 pm CDT two large jets collided over southern Germany, one being a boeing 767, the other a large Russian Jet.

The Flaming wreckage fell on a school and in residential neighborhood.

all that is available now.

Posts: 15 | Location: Springfield, Ill | Registered: Tue April 09 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Jim, Thanks for the information. Here is more from AP:

Up to 150 feared dead as jets collide over Germany.
Associated Press

FRANKFURT, Germany (AP) - A Russian airliner and a Boeing-made cargo plane collided over southern Germany late Monday, and up to 150 people aboard were believed to have been killed, police said.
Rescue workers have already recovered bodies of some of the victims after the Tupolev 154 and the Boeing 757 freight plane crashed into each other at 11:43 p.m. , said Wolfgang Wenzel, a spokesman for police in the city of Tuebingen.

The Boeing was carrying just two pilots, both of whom were believed to have killed, Wenzel said early Tuesday.

An air traffic controller from the airport in Frankfurt, who declined to be named, said the Tupolev was a passenger plane for Bashkirian Airlines. Bashkiria is a republic within the Russian federation. Police said the flight originated in Moscow with Barcelona, Spain, as its final destination.

The air controller identified the freight aircraft as flying for package delivery service DHL that had taken off in Bahrain and was headed for Brussels, Belgium. There was no immediate answer to telephone calls to DHL headquarters in San Francisco.

Both planes were believed to have been flying at about 36,000 feet, Wenzel said.

Burning wreckage was scattered for several miles near Ueberlingen, 135 miles south of Frankfurt and just north of Lake Constance, Wenzel said.

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From the Swiss news services:

Mid-air collision kills 71

Investigators photograph sections of the tail and engine of the crashed Tupolev in Ueberlingen, southern Germany.

Two jets that collided in Swiss-controlled air space, killing 71 people - most of them children - were both diving to avoid a crash.

The collision took place around 190 kilometres south of the German city of Munich, above the town of Owingen near Lake Constance north of the Swiss-German border [swissinfo / SRI]

The two aircraft, a Tupolev 154 charter aircraft belonging to Russia's Bashkirian Airlines and a Boeing 757 owned by the freight company, DHL, slammed into each other late on Monday night at over 11,000 metres.

The impact sent flaming debris across more than 30 kilometres of southern Germany, near Lake Constance on the Swiss-German border.

Many of the victims were children travelling on the Russian aircraft from Moscow to Barcelona for a UNESCO conference.

Rescue workers began recovering bodies from the ground on Tuesday.

Eyewitnesses reported hearing a loud "thundering" noise from above the clouds, followed by a fireball.


Skyguide, the Swiss air traffic control service responsible for monitoring the two aircraft at the time of impact, said Zurich-based air-traffic controllers issued three warnings to the Russian crew.

Toni Maag, chief of the air traffic control tower in Zurich, said on Tuesday that the first warning was issued when the jet was eight to ten miles, or 90 seconds, away from the impact point � within what it described as �normal� aviation safety margins.

At the same time, Maag said an automatic warning system on board the Boeing was activated, alerting its crew to the approaching Tupolev and instructing the pilot to lose altitude.

Maag said the Tupolev crew only reacted at the third warning, after which it also initiated a steep descent.

Moments later, at 11:35pm (local time), the two aircraft impacted.

Maag said it was unclear why it took so long for the jet to respond to increasingly urgent instructions.

The German air traffic control service, DFS, said the responsibility for monitoring the Tupolev's flight path had been handed to Skyguide, without "any particular incident", minutes before the crash.

Nickolai Odegov, CEO of Bashkirian Airlines, said the Tupolev crew followed all instructions from Skyguide, and that the pilots were �very experienced�.

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Switzerland’s air traffic controllers were told a week before a fatal mid-air collision that their radar system was not up to European standards.

A report, released last week, called for improvements to bring Swiss radar into line with standards set by Eurocontrol, the European agency in charge of tracking aircraft in flight.

The report, by the Swiss Aircraft Accident Investigation Bureau, is adding to the pressure on the air traffic control body, Skyguide, which has admitted its systems were not fully functional during Monday night’s mid-air collision of two jets which killed 71 people – mostly children - near the Swiss-German border.

The crash took place while a collision warning system at Zurich airport was out of action for maintenance checks. At the time, only one air traffic controller was on duty.

Last week’s report said one of the shortcomings of the Swiss system was that an aircraft’s location on Skyguide’s screens is only updated every 12 seconds instead of the recommended eight.

On Thursday, the Swiss and German authorities confirmed that they had launched separate investigations into the circumstances surrounding the crash.

Both are trying to determine whether mistakes made by Skyguide were responsible for the collision.

Christoph Naef of the Zurich prosecutor's office, which is handling the Swiss investigation, said the proceedings were launched on suspicion of manslaughter and disruption of air traffic.

“Severe” problems

One of the bureau’s investigators, Jean Overney, told Swiss television that the radar problems “were severe enough that we told them to improve it so that the reduced vertical separation minimums that have been introduced can be [implemented] with sufficient safety”.

New rules that took effect in Europe this year reduced the vertical distance that aircraft must maintain from each other to 300 metres from 2,000.

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From Air Crash Rescue News:

> July 1, 2002 - Swiss: Air Collision System Was Off
> UEBERLINGEN, Germany - A collision-warning system was out of service and
> air traffic controller was on a break when a Russian jetliner slammed into
> cargo plane high above Germany, officials said Wednesday - adding to
> questions surrounding the crash that killed 71 people.
> As an international investigation began, officials at Swiss air traffic
> control disagreed on whether the controller who took a break while the
> warning system was down had violated rules and details emerged of a report
> that said Swiss aviation radar was below European standards.
> Criticism focused on Swiss controllers in charge of the southern German
> where the two planes collided late Monday, raining wreckage and bodies
over a
> pastoral area of rolling fields and forests across Lake Constance from
> Switzerland.
> The Swiss insist the 50-second warning they gave the Russian pilot was
> time for him to drop the Tu-154 he was flying for Bashkirian Airlines out
> the way of the Boeing 757 cargo jet. But German officials said that was
> less than usual, and Russian officials also blamed the controllers.
> German prosecutors in the city of Konstanz opened a criminal investigation
> into the collision Wednesday, saying they also expect to question Swiss
> flight controllers.
> Patrick Herr, a spokesman for Swiss air traffic control, said it was ``a
> purely theoretical question'' whether the Zurich tower's warning system
> could have prevented the disaster. ``Many signs point to an exceptionally
> unlucky combination of circumstances.''
> Maintenance on the warning system typically is done during periods of
> air traffic. Monday's collision happened shortly before midnight.
> Adding to the confusion, officials at Skyguide, the private company that
> provides Swiss air traffic control, gave conflicting accounts on whether
> controller's break at the time of the crash was allowed.
> Anton Maag, chief of the Zurich airport control tower, said Skyguide rules
> forbid leaving a lone controller on duty without the aid of the warning
> system. But one of his aides, Philipp Seiler, later told The Associated
> that this rule does not apply at night.
> Meanwhile, details emerged of an official report that said Skyguide's
> system fell below European safety standards. The report by the Swiss
> Accident Investigation Bureau, completed last month and published on the
> Internet, examined three near misses in Swiss airspace between 1998 and
> It said big differences between radar readings issued by Geneva and Zurich
> centers called the system's reliability into question. It also said
> differences between the way radar data is handled by Skyguide compared to
> neighboring countries could lead to misreadings of planes' locations on
> screens by up to 1,600 feet.
> The recovered flight data recorders of both planes were brought to a
> federal lab Wednesday for decoding. But the head of the lab, Peter
> already voiced suspicions about the 50-second warning.
> ``It seems to have come a bit late, though I don't want to pass judgment
> right now,'' he said on ARD television.
> Salvage crews had recovered 38 bodies by Wednesday evening and autopsied
> police said. However, only the two pilots of the cargo plane flying for
> International had been identified.
> Russian investigators joined their German colleagues Wednesday in
> the debris field around the town of Ueberlingen.
> Investigators concentrated on a large section of the Russian Tu-154
> aircraft's fuselage, which lies about 500 yards from where three engines
> the tail of the aircraft are embedded in a charred corner of a barley
> Officials believe as many as 20 more bodies of passengers and crew may be
> the fuselage, still strapped into their seats.
> German forensic experts trying to identify the victims prepared for the
> arrival of families of the Russian children, expected at the scene
> ``We must make it clear that the identification will be difficult and at
> point we are not sure that we will be able to identify all the victims,''
> said Thomas Schaeuble, the state interior minister of Baden-Wuerttemberg.
> Schaeuble said a list would be prepared for relatives of items that they
> should bring to make the identification easier - such as pictures, details
> what clothes the victims were wearing and medical or dental records.
> ``We will spare the relatives from having to look at the bodies,'' said
> police spokesman Michael Kuhn. ``The identifications will be made by
> pieces of clothing or personal possessions. If necessary, DNA will also be
> used.''
> The children, standout students from the Urals city of Ufa, were on their
> to a Spanish beach resort near Barcelona. A travel agent who helped
> the trip said Wednesday that 45 of the 69 people on the Russian plane were
> known to be children, fewer than the 52 reported earlier by officials.
> Sergei Kolesnikov, general director of the Kreks travel agency in Ufa,
> seven other people also boarded the flight after buying last-minute
> through a Moscow travel agency. Their ages were unclear.
> The Russian pilot heeded the command to descend after a second warning.
> the cargo jet was equipped with a radar collision avoidance system that
> its pilots to descend as well. The result was a fiery collision at 36,000
> feet over Lake Constance, shared by Germany and Switzerland, and flaming
> chunks of wreckage raining down on farms and forests.
> No one on the ground was hurt, but large pieces of the planes landed
> perilously close to homes, and many people saw and heard the explosion in
> night sky.
> July 3, 2002 - Swiss Flight Controllers, Russian Airline Disagree On Crash
> UBERLINGEN, Germany - Swiss authorities and a Russian airline disagree
> what caused a midair collision Monday night in southwestern Germany that
> 71 people dead, German and Russian officials said Tuesday.
> The two aircraft -- a Boeing 757 cargo plane operated by courier company
> International Ltd. bound for Brussels from Bahrain and a Russian
> Airlines Tupolev-154 passenger plane bound for Barcelona from Moscow --
> crashed at an altitude of 12,000 meters.
> The incident took place over Lake Constance near the German-Swiss border
> the state of Baden-Wuerttemberg.
> Swiss air traffic control authorities were controlling both flights.
> German aviation and police officials said the Swiss air traffic controller
> ordered the Russian pilot to descend only 50 seconds before the crash and
> issued another order 25 seconds later after the Russian plane failed to
> respond.
> Swiss authorities said the order was made far enough in advance, but the
> Russian airline blames the crash on the air traffic controllers.
> Initially, Swiss authorities claimed the Russian pilot only responded
> three warnings.
> Aviation analysts said careless mistakes or malfunctioning radio equipment
> may be the reason why the Russian pilot failed to respond.
> The crash was doomed when the Russian plane started to descend at the same
> time as the cargo plane. The Boeing decided on the action after receiving
> alert from its automated crash avoidance system, German authorities said.
> The flight controller did not seem to take into account that the crash
> avoidance system would be activated, they said.
> The Russian plan was not equipped with such a system and some aviation
> analysts claim this could be the main cause of the tragedy. The system is
> mandatory in Europe. The Russian airline company said the plane met
> international standards.
> Meanwhile, searchers recovered the two planes' flight recorders and
> voice recorders.
> The Tupolev carried 69 passengers and 52 of them were children heading
> Moscow to Barcelona for a vacation. The Boeing had two crew members
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