Crash of an Antonov AN-24V in Szczecin: 18 killed

Date & Time: Feb 28, 1973 at 2252 LT
Type of aircraft:
Operator:
Registration:
012
Flight Type:
Survivors:
No
Schedule:
Warsaw – Szczecin
MSN:
97305702
YOM:
1969
Country:
Region:
Crew on board:
5
Crew fatalities:
Pax on board:
13
Pax fatalities:
Other fatalities:
Total fatalities:
18
Circumstances:
Following an uneventful flight from Warsaw, the crew started the approach to Szczecin-Goleniów Airport by night and relative good weather conditions. On final, the airplane lost height, struck trees and crashed in flames in a wooded area located few dozen meters short of runway threshold. The aircraft was totally destroyed and all 18 occupants were killed, among them the Polish Minister of the Interior Wiesław Ociepka and the Czechoslovak Minister of the Interior Radko Kaska. Accompanied by a delegation of their respective ministry, they were en route to Szczecin to visit sea port installations.
Crew:
Maj Edward Jedynak, pilot,
Cpt Kazimierz Marczak, pilot,
Cpt Daniel Sterna, navigator,
Cpt Janusz Główka,
Sgt Tadeusz Błażejczyk.
Passengers (Polish Ministry of the Interior):
Wiesław Ociepka, Minister,
Col Czesław Karski,
Col Wiesław Zajda,
Maj Włodzimierz Strzelecki,
Maj Mieczysław Szumowski,
Włodzimierz Andrzej Wulkiewicz,
Mikołaj Stefan Tomala.
Passengers (Czechoslovak Ministry of the Interior):
Radko Kaska, Minister,
Michal Kudzej,
Col Jaroslav Klíma,
Lt Col Ladislav Hužvík,
Maj Olga Merunová,
Antonín Dufek.
Probable cause:
It was determined that the accident was caused by turbulences created at low altitude by the confrontation of two hot and cold air fronts, a phenomenon which resulted in a sudden loss of altitude that the pilots could not control. An accumulation of frost on all surfaces also contributed to the accident.