Dramatic Video Shows Yak-52 Crash in Poland During Airshow, One Killed.

A Yak-52 plunges into the Vistula River in Poland during an aerobatic routine (Photo: via YouTube)

Aircraft Enters Low Altitude Flat Spin with Attempted Recovery Before Crash.

An unidentified German aerobatic pilot who was also a “former Lufthansa pilot” according to reports, died on Saturday, June 15, during the 7th Air Picnic in Plock, Poland. He was flying a Yak-52 single, radial engine military trainer and aerobatic propeller aircraft.

Although no official cause of the crash has been released, the aircraft appeared to enter a classic flat spin. Late in the spin the aircraft appears to enter a more nose-down flight attitude, a common procedure used by pilots to exit a flat spin. Unfortunately, the aircraft was too low to recover and impacted the ground, killing the single crewmember on board.

The videos of the accident posted show bystanders very close to the impact point of the aircraft, sitting in chairs along the Vistula River where the aircraft impacted in approximately 8 meters (26-feet) of water.

The tragic accident provides at least some visual insight into the dynamics of a spin and some aspects of spin recovery, such as how much altitude can be required to execute spin recovery maneuvers.

Two pilots also died in a Yak-52 crash in Vietnam on Friday, June 14 during a military training flight.

The crash occurred in central Khanh Hoa province when their Yakovlev Yak-52 trainer crashed near a mountain, killing one crewmember in the crash.
“One was found dead while the other one died on the way to hospital,” said Nguyen Ngoc Khue, the head of the local commune where the accident occurred.

The Yak-52 is a legacy, single engine, two-place radial engine trainer that first flew in 1976. It is used by many former Eastern-Bloc nations as a primary trainer and is popular with aerobatic pilots for its maneuverability, low cost and ease of operation.

About Tom Demerly
Tom Demerly is a feature writer, journalist, photographer and editorialist who has written articles that are published around the world on TheAviationist.com, TACAIRNET.com, Outside magazine, Business Insider, We Are The Mighty, The Dearborn Press & Guide, National Interest, Russia’s government media outlet Sputnik, and many other publications. Demerly studied journalism at Henry Ford College in Dearborn, Michigan. Tom Demerly served in an intelligence gathering unit as a member of the U.S. Army and Michigan National Guard. His military experience includes being Honor Graduate from the U.S. Army Infantry School at Ft. Benning, Georgia (Cycle C-6-1) and as a Scout Observer in a reconnaissance unit, Company “F”, 425th INF (RANGER/AIRBORNE), Long Range Surveillance Unit (LRSU). Demerly is an experienced parachutist, holds advanced SCUBA certifications, has climbed the highest mountains on three continents and visited all seven continents and has flown several types of light aircraft.