This accident has recently came up in a conversation I had with a few friends. Surprisingly, it’s not as widely known as I thought it was. Read through the Wikipedia page for more details.
The Überlingen mid-air collision occurred at 21:35 UTC on 1 July 2002 between Bashkirian Airlines Flight 2937 (a Tupolev Tu-154M passenger jet carrying 60 passengers – mostly children – and 9 crew) and DHL Flight 611 (a Boeing 757-23APF cargo jet manned by two pilots) over the towns of Überlingen and Owingen in southern Germany. All 71 people on board the two aircraft were killed.
Nearly two years later, on 24 February 2004, Peter Nielsen, the air traffic controller on duty at the time of the accident, was stabbed to death by an architect, Vitaly Kaloyev, who had lost his wife and two children in the accident.
On 19 May 2004, the German Federal Bureau of Aircraft Accidents Investigation (BFU) published its determination that the accident had been caused by shortcomings in the Swiss air traffic control system supervising the flights at the time of the accident and by ambiguities in the use of TCAS, the on-board aircraft collision avoidance system.
This is obviously very tragic, but what a story! I’ve heard a rumor that there will be a drama movie made about it. That’s in addition to a few documentaries that already exist. Like this one, for example:
Holy Molly! This is some unbelievable footage! And what’s even more unbelievable is that the guy actually survived with the following:
Compression Fracture of the T12 Vertebra, 5 stitches to the eye, 6 stitches to the chin, severely sprained Back, wrist and hand. multiple bruised areas.
Discovered via Kottke.
As I was walking from the office today, I heard squeaking of the brakes, then a terrifying scream, and then silence. The crowd gathered immediatly. People were calling the police. Someone shouted for the doctor. I made my way through and saw that it was too late. She was dead…
I am still pretty hyped up about the whole thing, but there were a few things to calm me down.
First of all, Dmitry offered me a helping hand – he gave me his second car. We drove to the insurance today and added me as a temporary driver for the next month. Thanks a bunch, man! Staying without a car for the holidays would have been pretty tough – now I can finish up holiday preparations.
Secondly, I passed by my insurance and did all the paperwork. The other driver, it seems, haven’t admitted his fault, and so the full round of paper football will take place now. My claim will be faxed to Nicosia, where the insurance agent will gather the reports from the police and from the other party insurance and they will decide who is guilty. Sometime next week they should arrive to the conclusion and inform the garage masters on who will be paying for repairs.
I have arranged with my garage to evacuate the car today. We came and spent about 40 minutes trying to put on the transporter. One of the back wheels is pointing to the side and turns the car around a lot. But finally we managed.
I’ve also made a few pictures with my camera phone. You can see them here.