View Full Version : Government plane crash (?) in Bosnia

26th Feb 2004, 17:42
From the BBC a few minutes ago:
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/3488620.stm (http://)

Macedonia president's plane missing

Trajkovski has been Macedonian president since 1999
A plane carrying Macedonian President Boris Trajkovski has disappeared from radar screens over Bosnia, say reports.
The plane vanished near the southern Bosnian city of Stolac during a flight on Thursday morning.

Reuters news agency, quoting a government source, said the plane had crashed.

Mr Trajkovski was on his way to an investment conference in Mostar. There was no immediate word on casualties.

"The president was in the plane with several staff members. We have no word on survivors. A chopper is on its way," the government source added.

Stolac is in a mountainous region of southern Bosnia, east of the Croatian port of Dubrovnik

26th Feb 2004, 17:47
Mmm....weather's not very good:

2004/02/26 09:00
LDDU 260900Z 15012KT 0500 RA BKN002 OVC020 13/12 Q1004 NOSIG


26th Feb 2004, 17:55
Reuters just reporting the Macedonian President was killed.

mr Q
26th Feb 2004, 18:01
SKOPJE (Reuters) - A plane carrying Macedonian President Boris Trajkovski crashed in the mountains of southern Bosnia Thursday, Macedonian government officials said.
Officials in Bosnia said the president's official executive jet appeared to have smashed into a mountain in fog.
"There is no doubt about it. We are all in shock. We are waiting for information to see if there are any survivors," a senior Macedonian official said in the capital Skopje.
Trajkovski, who won praise abroad for cutting a deal with ethnic Albanian rebels to avert civil war in 2001, had been due in the Bosnian city of Mostar for an economic conference.
A second Macedonian government source told Reuters the plane had come down near Stolac, a few minutes flight from Mostar in mountains north of Croatia's Adriatic port of Dubrovnik.

"The president was in the plane with several staff members. We have no word on survivors. A chopper is on its way," the government source in Skopje said.

The Bosnian Serb Interior Ministry said there was heavy rain and fog at the time of the crash.

"At about nine o'clock this morning the radar lost control of an aircraft. Local police said a blast was heard in the mountainous region between the southwestern town of Stolac and the village Ljubinje," said Zoran Glusac, a spokesman for Bosnian Serb interior ministry.

"The weather conditions were very bad with heavy fog and rain."

Police were sent to the crash site on Hrgut mountain.


Since his election in late 1999, the 47-year-old lawyer's term has been marked by tensions between Slavic-speaking Macedonians and the former Yugoslav republic's large ethnic Albanian minority.

He presided over a NATO (news - web sites)-brokered peace deal in 2001 that ended months of armed clashes and prevented a full blown civil war in the mountainous state bordering Kosovo.

An English-speaker, he has been viewed in the West as a young leader with an international outlook and an ability to build contacts with foreign diplomats and politicians.

He specialized in commercial and employment law and once headed the legal department of a construction company.

In early 1999 he was appointed Macedonia's deputy foreign minister. During the Kosovo crisis that year he accused NATO of paying too little attention to the ethnic tensions brewing in Macedonia, and the influx of 300,000 ethnic Albanian refugees.

The president is married with a son and a daughter.

The mountainous Balkan region, combined with difficult winter weather conditions, can be hazardous for air travel.

In April 1996, a member of U.S. President Bill Clinton (news - web sites)'s cabinet, Commerce Secretary Ron Brown, was among 35 people killed when a U.S. Air Force passenger jet crashed into a mountain near Dubrovnik while trying to land on a trade mission.

26th Feb 2004, 18:01
Reuters (http://www.reuters.com/newsArticle.jhtml;jsessionid=4XDK0IG5ITP4KCRBAE0CFEY?type=wo rldNews&storyID=4442807)

Edited to leave just the url (Mr Q beat me to it)

26th Feb 2004, 19:27
Unfortunately the news confirms no survivoirs. Taken from rte.ie:
Macedonian president killed in air crash

February 26, 2004

(11:00) The President of Macedonia, Boris Trajkovski, has died after a plane crash this morning in mountains in the south of Bosnia.

The crash happened some 40 km outside Mostar, near the town of Stolac, with the President and eight others on board.

Bosnian officials have said that rescue teams have located the wreckage of the plane, and there are no survivors from the crash.

Mr Trajkovski had been on his way to attend an investment conference in Mostar when his plane disappeared from radar screens.

Speaking in Dublin, The Taoiseach, Bertie Ahern, said that a scheduled meeting between him and the Macedonian Prime Minister, Branko Crvenkovski, had been cancelled because of the tragedy.

The Prime Minister was to have submitted his country's application for European Union membership to the Irish EU presidency.

'This is a very sad day for Macedonia,' Mr Ahern said.

The Taoiseach said that he had conveyed his deepest sympathy on behalf of the European Union and the Irish Government and Irish people to Mr Crvenkovksi.

'I have assured the Prime Minister we will of course reschedule today's ceremony for a later date during Ireland's EU Presidency,' Mr Ahern added.

May they all rest in peace.

26th Feb 2004, 19:29
According to the JP Airline Fleet database, the only executive jet owned by the Macedonian Government is a 1976 Learjet 25B, reg Z3-BAA, formerly used by the Yugoslavian Government.

26th Feb 2004, 22:13
Reuters now reports ([URL=http://www.reuters.com/newsArticle.jhtml?type=worldNews&storyID=4444072) that:

<<...Macedonian officials described the president's plane as an aging Beechcraft 200 Super King Air twin-engined turboprop with two crew ...>>

and that

<<...AGING PLANE, BAD WEATHER: The official Macedonian Information Center said Trajkovski's plane had "several times" nearly cost officials their lives...>>


26th Feb 2004, 22:36
The Kingair was only 1980.......there are many in operation in UK and Europe of similar ages.....and beyond.

God bless all & their families

26th Feb 2004, 22:47
OK well I didn't know the King Air falls in the "executive jet" category! You learn something every day. In this case, still according to JP, that's Z3-BAB, indeed a 1980 aircraft.

27th Feb 2004, 00:48
some equipment info ......


halfway down the page ....

27th Feb 2004, 04:16
I lived & worked there a few years ago.

Trajkovski was a good bloke.

Both a/c mentioned were tired, standards not the highest unfortunately. Suspect there may have been some pressure on the crew to do the trip, rumours that others had cancelled.

Big setback for a pleasant country.

Ignition Override
27th Feb 2004, 14:41
Was there a reliable navigation aid and lights for the approach?

When US Sec. of Commerce Ron Brown and others crashed in the US Air Force T-43 (737-200) near Dubrovnik, Croatia years ago during a rushed NDB approach, there was suspicion that the crew was under some pressure with the VIPs onboard, and they were already running a bit late. We have at least one pilot here who was in a "sister-squadron" (Learjets) at Ramstein AFB when it happened. There were very many unanswered questions about the tragedy, or maybe the info was "sealed". The number of people who dealt with our former president (and his closer associates) and "apparently" met untimely deaths is really, really strange, never mind events at Mina, AR. For reasons of health, people don't probe very deeply...:uhoh:

28th Feb 2004, 04:35
I doubt they were able to see the lights... they crashed way out (something like 15nm or so).. and the weather was poor. Rumor has it that the weather was worse than this (the crash occurred earlier in the morning):

2004/02/26 13:00
LQMO 261300Z 06001KT 2000 -RA BR SCT004 BKN015 07/06 Q1000

As you can see, the approach can be challenging at best of times:


Judging by the reported wreckage location, they were probably flying the above approach.

Also, my understanding is that they were in radar contact, but I haven't seen any reports of the French SFOR (who are handling ATC in that area) noticing any altitude deviations etc..

28th Feb 2004, 09:15
Update: Wreckage located approx. 13-15km from the airport, at an elevation of 560m. Apparently, they also located the black boxes which are to be sent to Paris for analysis.

28th Feb 2004, 10:06
That's a very unforgiving approach...

-- Andrew