Thursday, 29th of December, 1994

– Turkey

Turkish Airlines Flight 278, a domestic scheduled passenger flight from Ankara-Esenboga Airport (ESB/LTAC), Turkey, to Van Airport (VAN/LTCI), Turkey, operated with a Boeing 737-4Y0, registration TC-JES, struck a hill at 5700 feet amsl while on a second runway 03 VOR/DME approach in bad weather (900 m visibility, reducing to 300 m in driving snow) approx 4 km (2.5 mls) from Van Airport (VAN/LTCI), Turkey.

The airplane was destroyed. Five crew members and 52 passengers perished. The remaining two crew members and seventeen passengers survived. (57 fatalities, 19 survivors)

The crash of Flight 278 is the sixth deadliest aviation accident on Turkish soil. It is also the second deadliest accident involving the Boeing 737-400.

– Details:

While descending to Van-Ferit Melen Airport, the crew encountered poor weather conditions with a limited visibility due to heavy snow falls. While on a VOR/DME approach to runway 03, the crew was unable to establish a visual contact with the runway and decided to initiate a go-around. Due to general conditions at destination, the captain decided to return to Ankara but eventually attempted a second approach. Few minutes later, as the visibility dropped to 300 metres, the crew was forced to initiate a second go-around. During the third approach, the crew failed to realize their altitude was too low when the aircraft struck a snow covered hill (70 metres high) located about 4 km from runway 03 threshold and crashed. Five crew members and 52 passengers were killed while 19 other occupants were seriously injured. The aircraft was destroyed. At the time of the accident, the visibility was below minimums.