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Linate crash

The Linate Airport disaster occurred on 8 October 2001 at Linate Airport in Milan, Italy, when Scandinavian Airlines Flight 686, a McDonnell Douglas MD-87 airliner carrying 110 people bound for Copenhagen, Denmark, collided on take-off with a Cessna Citation CJ2, business jet carrying four people bound for Paris, France. All 114 people on board the two aircrafts were killed, as were four on the ground. A further four people on the ground were injured.

The accident occurred in thick fog, with visibility reduced to less than 200 meters (656 ft). The pilot taxied along the southern taxi route (taxiway R6), crossing the main runway toward the main taxiway which lay beyond it.

At 08:09:28, the SAS MD-87 was given clearance by a different controller to take off from runway 36R. Fifty-three seconds later, the SAS aircraft, traveling at about 270 kilometers per hour, collided with the Cessna. One of the four in the Cessna was killed on impact, the remaining three were burned alive.

The MD-87 lost its right engine; the pilot, Joakim Gustafsson from Sweden, attempted to take off, reaching an altitude of approximately 12 meters (39 ft). The remaining engine lost some thrust due to debris ingestion, and the plane, having lost the starboard landing gear, came down. Gustafsson applied thrust reverser and brakes, and tried to guide the plane through its control surfaces. The maneuver was judged so skillful that it is now incorporated into SAS technical manuals. All this was, however, insufficient to halt the jet’s momentum, and it crashed into a luggage hangar located near the runway’s end, at a speed of approximately 251 kilometers per hour (136 kn; 156 mph). In the impact, all the MD-87’s crew and passengers were killed. The crash and subsequent fire killed four Italian ground personnel in the hangar, and injured four more.

The victims included nationals of nine different countries (Denmark, Finland, Germany, Italy, Norway, Romania, South Africa, Sweden, and United Kingdom). Most of the victims were Italian and Scandinavian.

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