1977 Libyan Arab Airlines Tu-154 crash

On 2 December 1977, a Tupolev Tu-154 passenger jet ran out of fuel and crashed near Benghazi, Libya. A total of 59 passengers were killed.[1][2]

1977 Libyan Arab Airlines Tu-154 crash
Tupolev Tu-154M, Balkan - Bulgarian Airlines AN0143343.jpg
LZ-BTN, the aircraft involved, seen in May 1977, while operating for Balkan Bulgarian Airlines
Date2 December 1977
SummaryFuel exhaustion
Sitenear Benghazi, Libya
Aircraft typeTupolev Tu-154
OperatorLibyan Arab Airlines leased from Balkan Bulgarian Airlines
Flight originKing Abdulaziz International Airport, Saudi Arabia
DestinationBenina International Airport, Libya


The aircraft was a Tu-154A registered LZ-BTN and had its first flight in 1974.[3] It was one of six Tu-154s to be leased by Libyan Arab Airlines from Balkan Bulgarian Airlines for that year's pilgrim flights to Mecca for the Hajj.[3][4]


The aircraft took off from King Abdulaziz International Airport in Saudi Arabia on a flight to Benina International Airport in the Libyan city of Benghazi with a crew of six and 159 passengers – pilgrims returning to Libya from the Hajj – on board.[3] Egyptian airspace was closed to Libyan aircraft at the time, necessitating an indirect route to Benghazi instead of the direct route across Egypt; the crew reportedly did not plan for the longer flight time, leaving the aircraft short of fuel.[5] As the aircraft neared Benghazi heavy fog blanketed the airport and the crew could not land the aircraft.[3] After failing to locate the alternate airport the aircraft ran out of fuel and crashed during the crew's subsequent attempt to make an emergency landing, killing 59 passengers.[3][6]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "• Газета.Ru: Хроника падающих Ту-154" [• Gazeta.Ru: Chronicle of falling Tu-154]. www.gazeta.ru (in Russian). Archived from the original on 14 July 2001. Retrieved 9 April 2017.
  2. ^ "Crash of a Tupolev TU-154 in Al Bayda: 59 killed". www.baaa-acro.com. B3A Aircraft Accidents Archives. Archived from the original on 9 April 2017. Retrieved 9 April 2017.
  3. ^ a b c d e Ranter, Harro. "Aviation Safety Network LZ-BTN accident description". aviation-safety.net. Aviation Safety Network. Archived from the original on 8 April 2005. Retrieved 23 July 2010.
  4. ^ "✈ russianplanes.net ✈ наша авиация" [✈ russianplanes.net ✈ our aviation]. russianplanes.net (in Russian). Archived from the original on 18 October 2011. Retrieved 9 April 2017.
  5. ^ Flight International 1978, p. 185 (online archive version) retrieved 24 July 2010
  6. ^ "1978 | 0125 | Flight Archive". www.flightglobal.com. Retrieved 9 April 2017.