L-39 Albatros

L-39 accidents in the aviation history of CSSR, CSFR, CR and SR

Accidents involving L-39 Albatros in the aviation history of the Czechoslovak Socialist Republic (CSSR), Czechoslovak Federal Republic (CSFR), Czech Republic (CR) and Slovak Republic (SR)

ČSSR 12 Feb 1974 Košice 2nd Aviation Fighter Regiment Košice
L-39C 0104 accident LtCol Oldřich VALEHRACH / LtCol Jiří HÁJEK 

During the night flight, more precisely at the downwind turn (at an altitude about 250 m above the earth´s surface), engine suddenly failed. After unsuccessful attempts to restart the engine, the aircrew ejected safely from the plane. There is a presumption that the engine failed due to a pilot´s error who mistakenly pressed the engine mode switch (switching it to the “motoring run procedure” mode) instead of the landing light switch. The plane was completely destroyed.

ČSSR 30 May 1980 Košice 2nd Aviation Fighter Regiment Košice
L-39C 0114 accident Maj Zdeněk KREJČÍ

During the aerobatic exhibition rehearsal, while performing a one-and-half-roll manoeuvre in the descending face, the pilot corrected the heading but failed in checking the altitude. He dealt with the altitude loss pulling vigorously a flight stick without turning the plane into a wings-level position. By the action of the pilot, flying at 7.35g overload, the aircraft stalled. The plane wing hit the ground at a speed of 400 km/h. The pilot tried to get the plane under his control until it crashed. The main cause of the aircraft crash was the pilot´s failure to carry out difficult aerobatic formation for which the pilot was not adequately trained and methodically prepared.

8 April 1986 Sazená u Kralup Military Research and Testing Institute Letňany
L-39Z OK-186 accident Jiří POSPÍŠIL

A pilot working for the Military Research and Testing Institute carried out a test flight to test an ejection of the rear seat VS-2 using a test dummy. The fourth test was made with a specially modified L-39. Following the orders, the pilot performed the test at an altitude of 300 m above the earth´s surface and at a speed of 350 km/h. The engine failed after the ejection of the rear seat. The pilot decided to make an emergency landing in a field to keep away from a nearby village. The pilot suffered severe injuries. The cause of the failure has not been clarified yet and the whole investigation remains mysteriously veiled.

Nehoda L-39Z OK-186

ČSSR 17 Aug 1988 Košice 2nd Aviation Fighter Regiment Košice
Damage to L-39C 0446 Maj Miroslav PETRŮ

During the aerobatic flight technique performance at a low altitude, eastward to the Airport Košice (precisely between the airport and Krásna nad Hornádom, one of Košice districts), and after 10 minutes of flight, the plane´s engine failed. Pilot received orders to eject. Being close to the airport, the pilot opted to make an emergency landing. He steered the aircraft towards the area between a Non Direction Beacon (NDB)/Middle Marker (MM) and the runway 01 threshold, deployed the landing gear and flaps, and immediately reported the fire alarm. The aircraft hit the approach lighting system about 150-200 m from the runway 01 threshold. The pilot suffered a spinal injury (injured vertebra). The aircraft was damaged and the engine assembly totally burned out. The accident was caused by fire of the titanium components in aircraft engine. It was the first case of the titanium fire that had been ever recorded in the history of L-39.

ČSSR 24 Aug 1988 Rakoľuby 3rd Aviation School Regiment Piešťany
Damage to L-39C 0110 LtCol Zdeněk HAVNER / Maj Vladimír VAJDA

After the weather check flight near the town of Nové Mesto nad Váhom, the aircrew asked for permission to perform aerobatic manoeuvres. Right in the middle of the sixth vertical manoeuvre in the ascending phase, in maximum performance mode, the aircraft experienced a compressor stall and its engine failed. The information display panel indicated the emergency and fire alarm signals. The aircrew commander moved an engine control lever to a STOP position, pressed a fire extinguishment button and opted for an emergency landing in a field. During the landing manoeuvre he managed to deploy the flaps for “landing” position by emergency procedure what caused that the aircraft touched the ground at higher speed. When the aircraft lift off the ground again about two metres above the earth´s surface, the pilot Major Vajda safely ejected. The co-pilot LtCol Havner remained in the aircraft and accomplished the emergency landing. The aircraft was badly damaged. Since then on the pilots of the 3rd Aviation School Regiment called the emergency landing site the “Havnerfield”.

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ČSSR 11 Apr 1989 Trebišov 2nd Aviation Fighter Regiment Košice
L-39C 0109 accident Lt Ján KRAK

During the aerobatic manoeuvres at a low altitude, the aircraft experienced vibrations inside the engine what consequently led to its failure. The accident was caused by a manufacturing defect due to which a rotor blade ripped off. The pilot ejected safely from the plane.

ČSSR 15 Aug 1989 Košice 2nd Aviation Fighter Regiment Košice
L-39C 4356 disaster Cpt Zdeněk BEREZA / Ammar BAHLOUL

As the L-39's landing flaps fully deployed during the base-leg turn, the air traffic controller gave permission to a civil aircraft L-410 to take off in the opposite direction (the ATC intended to keep the L-410 separated from the landing aircraft by earlier cross-wind turn, while the L-39 was supposed to hold in right-turn circles). The L-39 crew, while holding in the right-turn circles in the landing configuration, operated the aircraft on the back side of the power (drag) curve. The aircraft subsequently began falling and crashed. The problem probably arose from a misunderstanding on the part of the foreign pilot. Instructor in an attempt to prevent those two aircraft to get very close to each other intervened inappropriately in steering the aircraft. The pilots tried to eject before the aircraft hit the ground but did not manage to do so due to a lack of time.

ČSFR 22 June 1990 Krajné 3rd Aviation School Regiment Piešťany
L-39ZA 4709 disaster 1stLt Ondrej LÁMER

The main cause of the accident was a 3rd class pilot´s failure in performance of aerobatic manoeuvres at a low altitude. Facing the low altitude ejection conditions, the pilot did not manage to leave the aircraft safely.

SR 14.09.2000 Ožďany 31. slk Sliač
Aircraft accident L-39ZA 3905 1st Lt. Pavol SERBÍN

During an aerial battle training mission, the engine experienced a flameout. Pilot tried to restart the engine, but with no success. Afterwards, he steered the plane towards an uninhabited area and safely ejected at an altitude of 800 m. The plane crashed near the village of Ožďany and exploded.

ČR 01.08.2001 Pelhřimov 4.zTL Čáslav
Air disaster L-39ZA 5013 1st Lt. Luděk BURDA

During a navigation flight from Prague-Kbely to Náměšt nad Oslavou, over the turning point Pelhřimov, the pilot was performing aerobatic maneuvers at low altitude (not as a part of the training mission). The plane hit the ground in a half-roll maneuver while performing a roll at low altitude. It fortunately missed a family house. The commander of Czech Air Force General Klíma ordered to transport all pilots by bus from the Čáslav base to the crash site to let them see the fatal consequences of pilot´s reckless behaviour.

albatros 5031 nehoda 5031 havaria albatros 5031 crash albatros 5031 havaria L39

SR 29.10.2002 Kalša 31. slk Sliač
Aircraft accident L-39ZA 4705 Lt. Col. Jenö VADAS / 1st Lt. Tibor MOLNÁR

In performing aerobatic manoeuvres at low altitude, the aircrew failed to recognize the engine stall, mistook it for the engine flameout and ejected. The plane crashed in the vicinity of the village of Kalša near Košice. The plane was flown by two Hungarian military pilots (the training was supported by the Kosice-based Air Force Training Centre) and it was borrowed from AFB Sliač.

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ČR 12.07.2010 Koudelka CLV Pardubice
Aircraft accident L-39C 5306 Václav TYRYCHTR / David SOCHACKÝ

After finishing the training of aerial battle manoeuvring, pilots heard a noise of two metal impacts. Immediately after that, the Master alert lit up, together with the alert of exhaust gas temperature 700°C and 730°C and the engine fire alert. The wingman reported a white smoke track and orange sparks coming out of the exhaust nozzle. Upon the instructor´s order, pilot pulled the engine control lever to the STOP position, shut off the fire valve and pushed the fire extinguishing button. The instructor steered the aircraft to an uninhabited area and pressed the fire extinguishing button in the rear cockpit. The pilot ejected upon the instructor´s order. After making sure that the aircraft would land outside of an inhabited area, the instructor ejected safely too. The main cause of the accident was a titanium fire in the area of the labyrinth stuffing box between the 3rd and 4th stages of the high pressure compressor. The fire was caused by the engine surge following the engine acceleration.

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ČR 16.12.2010 Biskupice C22. zl Náměšť nad Oslavou
Aircraft accident L-39ZA 2341 Capt. Michal KUDYN / Capt. Stanislav STOJANÍK

During the test flight of the aircraft with a replaced engine, twenty two minutes after take-off, the aircrew heard five distinct impacts in the rear part of the aircraft. Subsequently, there was a sharp drop in speed followed by the engine flameout. After four unsuccessful attempts to restart the engine in flight, the aircrew successfully ejected. The aircraft fell on the edge of forest stand. Pilots landed in the forest terrain, approximately 500 m from the plane wreckage. The accident was caused by a titanium fire in the 3rd stage of the high-pressure compressor.

Stojanik nehoda albatros 2341 crash