Exactly 54 years ago today, on November 2, 1968, LOT Polish Airlines Flight 703 crash-landed just over a mile north of Rogóżno railway station. In the crash landing, one person was killed, and several were seriously injured.

The aircraft involved in the accident was a 22-year-old LOT Polskie Linie Lotnicze Antonov An-24V with the registration SP-LTD. The flight was a regularly scheduled regional domestic flight from Warszawa-Okecie Airport (WAW) to Rzeszów Airport (RZE). In command of the aircraft was Captain Kazimierz Rożek, assisted by First Officer Waldemar Wolsk. Onboard the aircraft were 25 passengers, including famous Polish radio presenter Tomasz Beksiński.

Everything was fine until the final approach

The plane took off Wednesday morning from the Polish capital for the 149-mile flight to the southeastern Polish city of Rzeszów. Everything was going to plan until two minutes before the plane was to land. At 10:25, when on final approach to land at Rzeszów-Jasionka Airport’s Runway 27, the pilots forgot to switch on the plane anti-icing equipment.

LOT flight 703 route map

Image: GCmaps

When they realized and eventually turned it on, both of the plane’s engines shut down because of ice in the air intakes. Aware that they would not be able to make it to the airport, both pilots initiated a glide while looking for a safe place to land.

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LOT Antonov An-24

The aircraft landed in a field at high speed and became airborne above a drainage ditch before coming to a stop further on. A 69-year-old woman from Rzeszów died in the accident, while the other passengers managed to get off the plane before it caught fire.

LOT Polish Airlines removed the An-24 from its fleet

Following the accident, which remains the last ever fatal accident in Polish aviation, LOT Polish Airlines decided to remove the Soviet-built turboprops from its fleet. The aging Soviet aircraft were replaced with French/Italian ATR 42 and ATR 72 aircraft. During its history LOT Polish Airlines had 20 An-24s in its fleet, with SP-LTD being an An-24B 50-passenger variant of the plane.

About the Antonov An-24

In the 1950s, the Soviet Union sought a medium-range troop transport/cargo plane to replace the aging Ilyushin Il-14. The aircraft needed to be strongly built to operate from remote gravel runways and in regions where it was either extremely hot or cold.

The Antonov Design Bureau’s answer was a high-wing twin-engine turboprop that could seat 44 passengers. The An-25 first flew on October 29, 1959, before entering service with the Soviet military in 1962.

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three veiws of the An-24

Specifications and general characteristics of the Antonov An-24B:

  • Crew: 3
  • Capacity: 50 passengers
  • Length: 77 ft 2 inches
  • Wingspan: 95 feet 10 inches
  • Height: 27 feet 4 inches
  • Wing area: 8,07.1 square feet
  • Empty weight: 29,321 lbs
  • Max takeoff weight: 46,297 lbs
  • Fuel capacity: 1,470 US gallons 1
  • Powerplant: 2 × Ivchenko AI-24A turboprop engines, 1,900 kW (2,550 shp) each (eshp)
  • Propellers: 4-bladed AV-72 constant-speed propellers, 12 feet 10-inch diameter


  • Cruise speed: 280 mph at 20,000 feet
  • Range: 1,500 miles with maximum fuel
  • Service ceiling: 27,600 feet
  • Rate of climb: 375 feet per minute

Source: simpleflying.com

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