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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Air Crash Theory




OSLO, Norway -- A cockpit dispute over a Russian airliner's position may have caused the worst air crash on Norwegian territory, when the jet slammed into an arctic mountain in 1996 and killed 141 people, a commission said Tuesday.


The Tu-154 airliner, belonging to Vnukovo Airlines, veered into a mountain 30 kilometers from the runway of the main airport on the arctic Svalbard archipelago on Aug. 29, 1996.


In its final report issued Tuesday, the investigating committee said it found no evidence of technical failures aboard the aircraft or in the navigation systems at the remote airport.


In the seconds before the crash, the plane's pilots and its navigator were having an intense discussion about whether to turn left or right, the report said. The navigator won, and seconds later the plane turned left and slammed into Opera Mountain.