Life With Life, Baskirian Airlines Crash

By midnight on July 1, 2002, Bashkirian Airlines crash had sacrificed many lives. Most of the passengers were children from the town of Ufa, Russia's Bashkortostan State. They are from wealthy families in Ufa planning a vacation on Costa Dorada Beach in the city of La Pineda.

In addition to the children from the city of Ufa, there is Svetlana Kaloyeva with her two children, 10-year-old Konstantin Kaloyev, and her 4-year-old sister, Diana. For months these two children have not met their father, Vitaly Kaloyev, who works as an architect in Barcelona.

Vitaly's contract of employment has actually expired, but he has intentionally extended his visa so he can have some fun with his family. While Vitaly worked in Spain, Svetlana and her children lived in Vladikavkaz, the capital of the State of Northern Ossetia-Alania, Russia.

(Vitaly Kaloyev)

As the Bashkirian and DHL planes collided over the German city of Uberlingen, Vitaly was waiting for his family to arrive in Barcelona-El Prat, Spain. It has been two years since Vitaly traveled to Spain.

But when he received the bad news, Vitaly flew to Germany on first plane. He was the first family to arrive at crash site in Uberlingen. Vitaly found her daughter's body hanging on a tree.

"She was brought down to earth by angels," Vitaly said.

His son's body was found in front of a bus stop. A few days later, his wife's body was found in the middle of a cornfield in horrific condition.


"I can't live anymore," said the 48-year-old Vitaly, who told the Washington Post that his life had just ended that day.

His life seems to have ended that day. Khazbi Kaloyev, (Vitaly's brother), witnessed how Vitaly's life changed.

His brother told Vitaly he only lived for two reasons. The first is to remember his children and his wife, the second to find out who was at fault in the deadly tragedy in the air. His home in Vladikavkaz was made Vitaly the "home of worship" for his wife and two children.


Vitaly lives by holding a grudge. Every time he met with Skyguide, a company that operates the air traffic tower in Zurich, Switzerland, Vitaly always ridiculed them with questions about what actually happened that night.

Vitaly and his brothers never stopped asking how two planes could crash in the air? Who did it wrong? They believe officers at the Zurich control tower had the biggest crime in the accident.


Investigations by the German Aviation Investigation Agency (Bundesstelle für Flugunfalluntersuchung / BFU) indicate that there were several factors that caused the two aircraft to collide. In addition to the equipment factor, there are also human error.

Nikolai Ogodai, Bashkirian Airlines boss blamed Skyguide.

"The accident was caused by the fault of the control tower that directed the aircraft in the same direction," Nikolai said.

Skyguide continues to avoid responsibility. However, as the only attendant that night at the Zurich control tower, Peter Nielsan had to bear the burden of months of mental illness.

"As a control tower, it's my job to prevent such accidents," Nielsen told German journalists. But the accident happened. "As a father, I have felt a great loss. Not a little bit of the lives of children are lost and hopes of a future are erased. ”


For months, Vitaly waited for Skyguide's official explanation and their apology. He hoped that someone from Skyguide would come to him, look into his eyes, and say words of regret.

But that apology didn't come. He just asked patiently to wait and wait. Vitaly's patience is waning. Due to Skyguide's boss refusing to give Nielsen the identity and address of the control tower officer, Vitaly has asked the Russian detective to look into Peter Nielsen.

It's not hard to find Nielsen. He lives in Kloten, just 10 kilometers from the city of Zurich, with his wife and three children. One and a half years after the Uberlingen accident, in late February 2004 Vitaly flew from Moscow to Zurich. He has booked a room at the Welcome-Inn Hotel in Kloten.


Vitaly came to Kloten not for a vacation, he just wanted to meet Peter Nielsen. The first time he go, he stopped at a bus stop not far from Nielsen's house and returned to the hotel.

The next day he came to Peter's house and knocked on the door. In Vitaly's hand is a picture of his children and his wife. When Nielsen opened the door, Vitaly still remembered the first words Nielsen spoke. "Hi, I'm from Russia," Vitaly told the Los Angeles Times.

Vitaly hoped Nielsen would welcome him and invite him into the house. But Nielsen told him to go. Vitaly insists Nielsen look at his family photo. Nielsen didn't want to see it and the photo fell off.


Vitaly told police he couldn't remember what happened later. From home, Nielsen's wife heard her husband's scream and rushed out.

She saw her husband collapsed in front of the door filled with blood. Zurich's trial judge sentenced Vitaly to 8 years in prison for the murder of Peter Nielsen. Vitaly admits he has no plans to kill Nielsen. He just wanted to hear the apology words from Nielsen's mouth.


"He's a fool. That's why he has to pay for his life…. If he had asked me to come into house, it would not have been murder, ”Vitaly said years later who never regretted his actions.

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