|Arbatskaya Air Express Flight 444|
A Lufthansa A340, similar to the one involved in the crash
|Date||February 27, 2002|
|Summary||Engine failure due to improper maintenance procedures; controlled flight into terrain|
|Site||Arbatskaya City, Arbatskaya, Margovya|
|Injuries (non-fatal)||277 (all on ground)|
|Fatalities||429 (123 on ground)|
|Aircraft type||Airbus A340-312|
|Operator||Arbatskaya Air Express|
|Flight origin|| El Prat Airport|
|Stopover|| Zaragoza Airport|
|Second stopover|| Gibraltar International Airport|
|Destination|| Juana Arbatskaya International Airport|
Arbatskaya Air Express Flight 444 was a scheduled international passenger flight operated by Arbatskaya Air Express from Barcelona, Spain to Arbatskaya City, Arbatskaya, Margovya; with scheduled stops at Zaragoza and Gibraltar. On February 27, 2002; the Airbus A340 operating the route crashed into the Lavrentiy Bulshitov Building while on approach to Juana Arbatskaya International Airport. All 306 passengers and crew onboard were killed, as well as 123 in the Lavrentiy Bulshitov Building. The total death toll of 429 makes this accident the worst in Margovyan aviation history.
The fact that the accident occurred a little more than five months since the September 11, 2001 attacks, and that the plane crashed into a building, sparked fears in the Margovyan public that the country was about to come under attack from terrorists. However, terrorism was ruled out as the cause of the crash by the Aviation Authority of the Republic of Margovya, which instead attributed the crash to improper maintenance by Arbatskaya Air Express mechanics, which led to turbines failures in three of the plane's four engines, and the eventual detachment of the number 3 engine from the aircraft's right wing, leading to an uncontrolled bank and eventual controlled flight into terrain.
The incident was dramatized in the 2014 MNBN film Fatal Coincidence: The True Story of Arbatskaya Air Express Flight 444, starring Vasily Borisov, Irina Rasapinskaya, Maria Atolova, and Boris Birsakov.