Deadliest Air Show – Sknyliv disaster 77 People Killed & 543 Wounded

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on the  60th anniversary of the Ukrainian Air Force’s  An Airshow was organized at Sknyliv Airfield near LvivUkraine .

More than 10,000 spectators were present.

At 12:52 pm, the Su-27 aircraft – flown by two experienced pilots entered a rolling maneuver with a downward trajectory at low altitude

Having rolled upright once more the aircraft was still descending rapidly and the left wing dropped shortly before the aircraft hit the ground, at which point the crew initiated ejection.

The aircraft flattened out initially, skidding over the ground towards stationary aircraft

Striking a glancing blow against the nose of an Ilyushin Il-76 transport aircraft before beginning to explode and cartwheel into the crowd of spectators.

Both pilots survived with minor injuries, while 77 spectators were killed, including 28 children (though initial reports by the Emergency Situations Ministry put the number of dead at 83, including 23 children).

Another 100 were hospitalized for head injuries, burns, and bone fractures.

Other injuries were less severe and did not require hospitalization: a total of 543 people were injured during the accident.

The aircraft, flown by two experienced pilots, entered a rolling maneuver and suffered a loss of power on both engines

Although the pilot then initiated emergency re-start and managed to regain some power he was unable to pull out of decent

The left wing dropped shortly before the aircraft hit the ground, at which point the crew initiated ejection.

The aircraft flattened out initially, skidding over the ground towards stationary aircraft

Both pilots were framed for this crash.Ukrainian president Leonid Kuchma publicly blamed the military for the disaster and dismissed the head of the air force, Volodymyr Strelnykov. The defense minister Volodymyr Shkidchenko sent in his resignation, but it was rejected by Kuchma.

On June 24, 2005, a military court sentenced pilot Volodymyr Toponar and co-pilot Yuriy Yegorov to fourteen and eight years in prison, respectively. The court found the two pilots and three other military officials guilty of failing to follow orders, negligence and violating flight rule

s. Two of the three officials were sentenced to up to six years in prison, and the last official received up to four years.

In addition, Toponar was ordered to pay 7.2 million hryvnia ($1.42 million; €1.18 million) in compensation to the families, and Yegorov another 2.5 million hryvnias.

The crew’s main flight trainer was acquitted for lack of evidence.

While the pilots were assigned the majority of the blame, which included accusations of attempting maneuvers that they were not experienced with

Toponar had requested an additional training flight at the airfield where the display was to be performed; this request was denied.

After the verdict was announced, Toponar said he planned to appeal, insisting the crash was due to technical problems and a faulty flight plan.

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