Samiksha Jaiswal (Editor)

1978 Finnish Air Force DC 3 crash

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Passengers  12
Fatalities  15
Date  3 October 1978
Location  Siilinjärvi, Finland
Operator  Finnish Air Force
Crew  3
Survivors  0
Number of deaths  15
Destination  Helsinki Airport
Location  Siilinjärvi
1978 Finnish Air Force DC-3 crash httpsuploadwikimediaorgwikipediacommonsthu
Summary  Engine failure, pilot error, stall
Site  Rissala, Siilinjärvi, Finland
Similar  1978 LAV HS 748 accident, 1978 Iranian Chinook, Aero Flight 217, 1978 Balkan Bulgarian, Continental Airlines Flight 603

The Finnish Air Force DC-3 disaster occurred when a plane of this class crashed into Lake Juurusvesi in Rissala on 3 October 1978, killing all fifteen people on board. It was caused by a cracked exhaust valve, resulting from metal fatigue in an engine cylinder.



The crash, also known as the Rissala air disaster, killed all fifteen people on board, including politicians and prominent businessmen attending a national defence course organized by the Finnish Defence Forces.

After the airplane departed Kuopio Airport at 21:31 local time, one of its engines lost power. The pilot attempted to return to the airport, but during the turn the aircraft lost altitude and impacted Lake Juurusvesi.


The primary cause of the accident was found to be mechanical failure resulting from a fatigue breakdown in one of the cylinders of the No.2 engine, which resulted in cracking of an exhaust valve. The airplane had been maintained and was checked the previous day, but the crack would only have been visible by partially disassembling the engine.

The investigation board determined that the attention of the crew was concentrated on the engine failure instead of flying with one engine, possibly due to carrying out engine fire drills.


The accident hastened replacing the aging DC-3 fleet of the Finnish Air Force with Fokker F.27s. Air force and Finnair pilots were given more training for emergency situations.


  • Risto K. Alanko, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Oy Lohja Ab
  • Kirsti Hollming Member of parliament (MP), National Coalition Party (NCP)
  • Colonel Aarno Hukari, Commander of the Suomenlinna coastal artillery regiment
  • Aaro Kenttä, Chief director of Statistics Finland
  • Lieutenant colonel Tapio Kokkonen, Commander of the Coastal Jaeger Battalion (Upinniemi)
  • Pekka Lahdensuu, Director of the national export credit agency (today Finnvera)
  • Olavi Majlander MP, Christian Democrats (SKL)
  • Arto Merisaari MP, Finnish People's Democratic League (SKDL)
  • Antti Pohjonen, Governor of Vaasa Province, Social Democratic Party of Finland (SDP)
  • Kari Sinisalo, Legislative director of the Ministry of Justice
  • Viljo Särkkä, CEO of Kemira Oy
  • Olli Varho, CEO of Oy International Business Machines Ab (IBM in Finland)
  • First Lieutenant Kari Halmetoja, pilot
  • Master Sergeant Seppo Raninen, co-pilot
  • Sergeant-Major Heikki Mannila, flight engineer
  • Source: YLE

    Tarja Halonen, the future President of Finland, then MP (SDP) would have been a passenger on the flight had her doctor not advised her not to fly, due to her late-stage pregnancy.


    1978 Finnish Air Force DC-3 crash Wikipedia

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