Albanian Air Force
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Aircraft Accidents


November 1959 - MiG-15bis

A MiG-15bis from Kucova AB took off normally and crashed 30 min later in the plain of Myzeqe near Lushnja, Albania due to a steering problem. The pilot ejected safely but the aircraft 'buried' itself in the ground.

?? 1966 - MiG-15bis

A MiG-15bis approached Kucova AB. The aircraft was said to have entered a spin and it crashed on the airfield. The pilot (only 28) was killed instantly.

?? 1972 - F-6 (MiG-19S)

A flight of 6 F-6's from Kucova AB took off to take part in a national-scale military exercise. The aircraft were fitted with a new type of bullet for the cannon. The bullet contained an explosive that exploded on contact with an object. Normally the bullet had a spring to avoid explosion when fired. But this spring was not present in the bullet. When the flight approached the target (in the military test area of Peqin), the leader of the flight fired and the bullet exploded, killing the pilot instantly and completely destroying the aircraft. This new type of bullet were never tested by the Albanians and this exercise was also made to test this new armament. These bullets were bought from China and were immediately returned to China. This, among other factors, worsened Albanian-Chinese relations.

?? 1974 - F-7A (MiG-21F)

One F-7A was lost in 1974 due to a technical fault.

29 March 1982 - F-7A (MiG-21F)

One F-7A was lost in March 1982 following a birdstrike on take-off. The pilot, Luto Sadiku, did not eject and was killed in the crash.

22 November 1989 - Mi-4

Two Mi-4 took-off from Farka AB in a Search & Rescue mission in the south of the country, in the area of Llogara, Vlore. A bus containing students and teachers from the University of Tirana had crashed, and since their situation was critical, the helicopters were sent to transport them to Tirana military hospital. Both the helicopters arrived in Vlora and landed without problems. It is still unknown what happened next, as there were few witnesses, but it was reported that the helicopters collided with each other - apparently due to bad weather. All onboard, including students and teachers, were killed. There were 36+ students plus teachers and helicopter crew. This is considered the worst ever tragedy to happen in Albania until today.

9 September 1992 - FT-5 ('MiG-17UTI')

One of the main landing gear legs of an FT-5 piloted by Ismet Zervoi and Martin Bregu failed to lower correctly. The aircraft was successfully belly-landed on the grass next to the runway at Gjader without much damage.

20 August 1993 - F-6 (MiG-19)

A Rinas-based F-6 crashed into the Adriatic Sea, claiming the life of the former base commander Idriz Hoxha.

21 August 1996 - FT-5 ('MiG-17UTI')

FT-5 serial 8-09 was lost when an engine fire broke out shortly after take-off. The two crew, Ismet Zervoi and Martin Bregu again, managed to make a rapid emergency landing but the damage too great to justify a repair.

March 1997 - Mi-4

One Mi-4 based in the south of Albania was hit by ground fire during the riots of that year. The crew made a successful forced landing, but the helicopter was subsequently destroyed by rioters.


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First Created: 3 September 2002 - Last Revised: 14 January 2005
Copyright © 2002 John Hayles.     e-mail: john@aeroflight.co.uk