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Cottbus MiG-21 Crash of 1975

On Schmellwitzer Street in Cottbus, in northeast Germany, stands an old five-story apartment building. High up on the face of the building, between the second and the third floor, one can still see the scars of an accident that happened nearly half a century ago.

On January 14, 1975, thirty-three-year-old Major Peter Makowicka was on a training mission when the MiG-21 that he was flying encountered engine failure. The military control center at Cottbus Air Base ordered the pilot to eject and save himself and let the plane go down, but Major Makowicka refused. Doing so would have crashed the plane into the TKC (Textile Combinate Cottbus) endangering the lives of thousands of workers. Major Makowicka instead guided the plane away with the intention of crashing it into an empty field. But with losing altitude, Makowicka couldn't get that far. The plane grazed the roof of a building behind the factory site and at 10:15am crashed into a 5-story “Plattenbau”—an apartment constructed from prefabricated concrete slabs typical of East Germany.


© Amusing Planet, 2020.



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