"Bloody Sunday" of Nizhny Tagil: how the plane crashed into the crowd on May 9, 1993By Pictolic https://pictolic.com/article/bloody-sunday-of-nizhny-tagil-how-the-plane-crashed-into-the-crowd-on-may-9-1993.html
The Victory Day in 1993 for the inhabitants of Nizhny Tagil was overshadowed by a bloody tragedy. People came to watch an air show, in the midst of which a sports plane lost control and crashed right into the crowd ... Few people know about this terrible incident.
On Victory Day in 1993, almost the entire city gathered at Theater Square. Mothers with children, families, veterans - everyone came to watch the air show of the pilots. Thousands of people gazed up at the sky in admiration as yet another plane swept past them. The pilots were greeted with applause. But the holiday and fun in an instant turned into a national tragedy.
On May 9, 1993, the most massive tragedy in the history of Nizhny Tagil occurred, making this day a real "Bloody Sunday". During the air show in honor of the celebration of the 48th anniversary of the Victory in the Great Patriotic War, while performing a turn, the Yak-52 aircraft lost control and crashed on people gathered on Theater Square. Both pilots and 19 residents of the city were killed, dozens of people were injured.
The festive day began as usual: the Victory Parade, congratulations to veterans, an athletics relay race for the prize of the Tagil Worker newspaper. The city center was crowded with people, the weather on that ill-fated Sunday was especially warm and sunny.
In the afternoon, three Yak-52 sports aircraft of the Nizhny Tagil aviation sports club began demonstration flights over the waters of the Tagil Pond and Theater Square. Pilots performed aerobatics at extremely low altitude, almost touching the roofs of residential buildings.
Professional pilots practiced tricks more than once at the airfield, over the water area of the pond and were confident in their actions. They were allowed to make demonstration performances only above the pond and not lower than at a height of 200 meters. But Fedor Fedorovich Bushma, the head of the Nizhny Tagil Aviation Club, made changes to the program for greater entertainment. Violating all flight rules, he independently transferred the pilots' holiday program to Theater Square and lowered the planned flight altitude to 100 meters. But in fact, the pilots flew at an altitude of 40-60 meters.
After performing group stunts, individual performances began. The third was the Yak-52 with tail number 135: it flew over the square and had to pass over the central stand. The plane was piloted by 32-year-old pilot-instructor of the Nizhny Tagil aviation club Alexander Danilov.
Alexander Danilov was flying the plane at an unacceptably low altitude. The pilot was going to perform a complex aerobatics maneuver that was not planned by the flight mission - a "barrel roll". The plane hit the tops of trees, struck the roof of a public toilet, rapidly lost speed and crashed to the ground. After hitting the pavement, the Yak-52 crashed into a crowd of people who were watching the flight, and by inertia “plowed” about 50 meters along the asphalt, maiming, chopping, taking human lives with it.
On that Bloody Sunday, 19 people died, and almost half of the dead were children. They couldn't wash off the blood from the square to the end - they put a new layer of asphalt.
The director of the aviation club was found guilty of the tragedy. Fyodor Bushma (pictured) was sentenced to six years in prison to be served in a colony-settlement. He admitted his guilt only partially. But the prosecutor did not see any guilt in the actions of the city administration.
The city paid for the funerals of 19 dead and still pays pensions to the victims. A year later, a monument was erected at the site of the tragedy. Since then, every year on the day of the tragedy at 7:50 am, officials of the city administration lay flowers at the monument to the victims of the plane.
As a rule, during airshows there are strict rules regarding the height of flights and the degree of approach to the crowd. The goal is to eliminate any risk to the audience. And the Air Code generally prohibited demonstration flights over populated areas. Nevertheless, recent history knows many high-profile tragedies that occurred during the air show: in Ukraine, Russia, the USA and Germany.