SYMBOLS Stories of cultural life.

Ničevski Sergej, victim of tragedy in Corsica

A piece of white marble on an early grave is a rich symbol. Stone, by origin from Pohorje Mountain above Maribor, indicates the homeland. White stone symbolizes purity and innocence, and rough treatment unformed character. In the symbolism of stone are embedded gestures of young victims of the worst aviation accident in Slovenian history.

Sergej Ničevski was a passenger on Adria Arways flight from Ljubljana Airport Brnik to Ajaccio, city in Corsica. The weather was very bad and just before landing they found themselves surrounded by fog. Security system in the aircraft warned then about proximity to the ground, but the crew did not react quickly enough. The plane grazed the mountain of San Pietro with one wing and then crashed on the other side of the mountain. When the connection to the control tower at the airport in Ajaccio was interrupted the control tower thought, that plane crashed into the sea. Villagers from the nearby village Petreto-Bicchisano under the mountain of San Pietro heard a loud bang, but due to dense fog did not see what happened and didn't paid any attention. Four hours after the accident, the wreckage of the aircraft was found by shepherds. Soon began the rescue operation. It was clear that none of the 180 passengers and crew members survived. Remains of corpses and personal belongings were transported to the village church, where they carried out identification.

The accident was result of a fatal mixture of several factors. Due to poor visibility, those in airport control tower were convinced that the airplane is located above the sea, but in fact, it was already 15 km inside the mountainous island. The airport at that time didn't have a radar, which would likely prevent this tragic accident. The crew of the aircraft was also convinced that they are above the sea. The crew flew for the first time here and they didn't know the airport and its surrounding area, so they followed orders from the control tower, including the fatal one, due to which they have begun to descend. The recordings from the black box later revealed that the communication between the tower and the cockpit was disturbed. In the cockpit there was also the seven-year old son of the co-pilot. When the child saw the plane descend, he asked the pilot if they are landing soon. Pilot replied: "Yes, we are, no one has ever stayed up in the air." A moment later, security systems in the aircraft were warning them to a fatal proximity to the ground.

9. December 1981 at the Ljubljana airport a plane with 180 coffins landed. The coffins were transported to Ljubljana, where a mourning ceremony was held. Victims, who weren't identified, were buried in a common grave at the Ljubljana Žale cemetery.

plane crash