50 Worst Aviation / Air Disasters

An aviation accident is an incident associated with the operation of an aircraft. It can take place anytime between the time any person boards the aircraft for flight and all such persons have disembarked, in which a person is fatally or seriously injured. The aircraft sustains damage or structural failure and/or the aircraft is missing or is completely inaccessible. It can be associated with the operation of an aircraft, which could affect the safety of operations. The first known aviation fatalities are the deaths of balloonists Pilâtre de Rozier and Pierre Romain on 15 June 1785.

Approximately 80 percent of all aviation accidents occur shortly before, after, or during takeoff or landing, and are often described as resulting from 'human error' while mid-flight disasters are rare but not entirely unheard of.To date there are 5,287 accidents recorded in the plane crash database.

Listed below is the list of the top 50 aviation disasters.

United Airlines, Flight 175, a Boeing 767, on a scheduled flight from Boston to Los Angeles, crashes into the south tower of the World Trade Center in New York.
United Airlines, Flight 175, a Boeing 767, on a scheduled flight from Boston to Los Angeles, crashes into the south tower of the World Trade Center in New York.

1st(i) Worst Disaster

Date: September 11, 2001

Time: 10:03

Location: Shanksville, Pennsylvania

Operator: United Air Lines

Flight #: 93

Route: Newark - San Francisco

AC Type: Boeing B-757-222

Registration: N591UA

cn / ln: 28142/718

Aboard: 44 (passengers:37 crew:7)

Fatalities: 44 (passengers:37 crew:7)

Ground Fatalities: 0

Details: The plane was hijacked after taking off from Newark International Airport, when the hijackers took control of the aircraft and turned the plane towards Washington D.C. After a struggle between the passengers and hijackers the plane crashed at a high rate of speed into a field in the Pennsylvania countryside. It was one of four planes that were hijacked the same day.

American Airlines, Flight 77, a Boeing 757, on a scheduled flight from Washington D.C. to Los Angeles, moments after crashing into the Pentagon.
American Airlines, Flight 77, a Boeing 757, on a scheduled flight from Washington D.C. to Los Angeles, moments after crashing into the Pentagon.

1st(ii) Worst Disaster

Date: September 11, 2001

Time: 09:45

Location: Arlington, Virginia.

Operator: American Airlines

Flight #: 77

Route: Washington D.C. - Los Angeles

AC Type: Boeing B-757-223

Registration: N644AA

cn / ln: 24602/365

Aboard: 64 (passengers:58 crew:6)

Fatalities: 64 (passengers:58 crew:6)

Ground Fatalities: 125

Details: This aircraft was hijacked after taking off from Dulles International Airport. The hijackers took control of the aircraft and deliberately crashed it into the Pentagon. It was again one of four planes that were hijacked the same day.

Wreckage of United Airlines Flight  93, a Boeing 757, on a scheduled flight from Newark to San Francisco, which crashed near Shanksville, Pennsylvania.
Wreckage of United Airlines Flight 93, a Boeing 757, on a scheduled flight from Newark to San Francisco, which crashed near Shanksville, Pennsylvania.

1st(iii) Worst Disaster

Date: September 11, 2001

Time: 08:47

Location: New York City, New York

Operator: American Airlines

Flight #: 11

Route: Boston - Los Angeles

AC Type: Boeing 767-223ER

Registration: N334AA

cn / ln: 22332/169

Aboard: 92 (passengers:81 crew:11)

Fatalities: 92 (passengers:81 crew:11)

Ground Fatalities: 2750

Details: The aircraft was hijacked shortly after it took off from Logan International Airport in Boston, when the hijackers took control of the aircraft and deliberately crashed it into the north tower of the World Trade Center between the 94th and 99th floors at approximately 450 mph. After 102 minutes, the building collapsed. It was one of the four planes that were hijacked the same day.

1st(iv) Worst Disaster

Date: September 11, 2001

Time: 09:03

Location: New York City, New York

Operator: United Air Lines

Flight #: 175

Route: Boston - Los Angeles

AC Type: Boeing B-767-222

Registration: N612UA

cn / ln: 21873/41

Aboard: 65 (passengers:56 crew:9)

Fatalities: 65 (passengers:56 crew:9)

Ground Fatalities: 2750

Details: The plane was hijacked shortly after it left Logan International Airport in Boston. The hijackers took control of the aircraft and deliberately crashed it into the south tower of the World Trade Center between the 78th and 84th floors at approximately 550 mph. After 56 minutes, the building collapsed. It was one of four planes that were hijacked the same day.

The remains of a Pan Am B747 (top) and KLM B747 (bottom) in Tenerife
The remains of a Pan Am B747 (top) and KLM B747 (bottom) in Tenerife
Canary Islands in the second worst aviation disaster in history, which killed a total of 583 people. The KLM 747 collided with a Pan Am 747 after the captain of the KLM plane started his takeoff roll without clearance
Canary Islands in the second worst aviation disaster in history, which killed a total of 583 people. The KLM 747 collided with a Pan Am 747 after the captain of the KLM plane started his takeoff roll without clearance

2nd Worst Disaster

Date: March 27, 1977

Time: 17:07

Location: Tenerife, Canary Islands

Operator: Pan American World Airways / KLM

Flight #: 1736/4805

Route: Tenerife - Las Palmas / Tenerife - Las Palmas

AC Type: Boeing B-747-121 / Boeing B-747-206B

Registration: N736PA/PH-BUF

cn / ln: 19643/11 / 20400/157

Aboard: 644 (passengers:614 crew:30)

Fatalities: 583 (passengers:560 crew:23)

Ground Fatalities: 0

Details: Both aircraft were diverted to Tenerife because of a bombing at Las Palmas Airport. After an extended delay, both planes were instructed to back track up the runway. The KLM plane reached its takeoff point while the Pan Am plane was still on the runway. The Pan Am plane continued up the runway missing the taxiway turnout. There was heavy fog on the runway. The KLM plane began its takeoff roll without permission with the Pan Am plane still on the runway. The KLM plane hit the Pan Am plane just as it was taking off. Both planes burst into flames. KLM 234 + 14 crew, Pan Am 326 + 9 crew killed. All aboard the KLM plane were killed. The Pan Am aircraft was named Clipper Victor. The KLM aircraft was named Rhine River.

The wreckage of a Japan Airlines Boeing 747 that crashed on Mt. Osutaka, Japan.  Five-hundred twenty people out of 524 aboard were killed.
The wreckage of a Japan Airlines Boeing 747 that crashed on Mt. Osutaka, Japan. Five-hundred twenty people out of 524 aboard were killed.
 Improper repairs by Boeing after a tail strike 7 years earlier, led to a rupture of the pressure bulkhead and loss of all controls.
Improper repairs by Boeing after a tail strike 7 years earlier, led to a rupture of the pressure bulkhead and loss of all controls.

3rd Worst Disaster

Date: August 12, 1985

Time: 18:56

Location: Mt. Osutaka, near Ueno Village, Japan

Operator: Japan Air Lines

Flight #: 123

Route: Tokyo - Osaka

AC Type: Boeing B-747-SR46

Registration: JA8119

cn / ln: 20783/230

Aboard: 524 (passengers:509 crew:15)

Fatalities: 520 (passengers:505 crew:15)

Ground Fatalities: 0

Details: The aircraft suffered an aft pressure bulkhead failure at 23,900 ft. The aircraft had severe control difficulties with loss of all controls and eventually after 40 minutes, collided with a mountain. Improper repair of the bulkhead while being supervised by Boeing engineers after a tail strike in 1978 is the reason for this crash. Worst single plane disaster in aviation history. Kyu Sakamoto, 43, famous for his Japanese song "Sukiyaki" was killed in the accident.

The remains of a Saudi Arabian Airlines Boeing 747 after a midair collision with a Kazastan Airlines Ilyushin 76 over New Delhi, India resulting in the loss of 349 lives. Reports vary but a misunderstanding of directions between the ATC and the Ilyus
The remains of a Saudi Arabian Airlines Boeing 747 after a midair collision with a Kazastan Airlines Ilyushin 76 over New Delhi, India resulting in the loss of 349 lives. Reports vary but a misunderstanding of directions between the ATC and the Ilyus

4th Worst Disaster

Date: November 12, 1996

Time: 18:40

Location: Near Charkhidadri, India

Operator: Saudi Arabian Airlines / Kazakstan Airlines

Flight #: 763/1907

Route: New Delhi - Dhahran / Chimkent - New Delhi

AC Type: Boeing B-747-168B / Ilyushin IL-76TD

Registration: HZAIH/UN-76435

cn / ln: 22748/555/1023413428

Aboard: 349 (passengers:312 crew:37)

Fatalities: 349 (passengers:312 crew:37)

Ground Fatalities: 0

Details: Midair collision 17 km W of New Delhi, the capital city of India. The Saudi 747 had just taken off from New Delhi airport ascending to 14,000 feet while the Il-76 was descending. Neither aircraft was equipped with an Airborne Collision Avoidance System (ACAS). The 747 had taken off from Delhi and had been cleared to climb to FL140. Meanwhile, the IL76, which was inbound to Delhi on the same airway, had been cleared to descend to FL150. However, due to a misunderstanding, the pilot and most of the cockpit crew of the IL76 believed the flight had been cleared to continue down to FL140. Three hundred and twelve aboard the B-747 and thirty-seven aboard the Il-76 were killed. The Il-76 descended below its assigned altitude. The death toll was reduced from 351 to 349 after Kazakstan Airlines reported 37 aboard rather than 39.  The Indian accident report attributed the failure of most of the IL76 crew to correctly understand the situation to their lack of a working knowledge of English. Also contributing to the crew's decision to continue the descent below their clearance limit were poor cockpit resource management, a lack of leadership by the captain, a lack of co-ordination between the crew and a general casual attitude to the conduct of the flight.

Not many pieces of wreckage larger than 3 feet long could be found after a Turkish Airlines DC-10 crashed into a forest at a high rate of speed at Ermenonville, France. A defective latching mechanism on the cargo door caused it to fail in flight resu
Not many pieces of wreckage larger than 3 feet long could be found after a Turkish Airlines DC-10 crashed into a forest at a high rate of speed at Ermenonville, France. A defective latching mechanism on the cargo door caused it to fail in flight resu

5th Worst Disaster

Date: March 03, 1974

Time: 11:41

Location: Near Ermenonville, France

Operator: Turkish Airlines (THY)

Flight #: 981

Route: Paris - London

AC Type: McDonnell Douglas DC-10-10

Registration: TC-JAV

cn / ln: 46704/29

Aboard: 346 (passengers:334 crew:12)

Fatalities: 346 (passengers:334 crew:12)

Ground Fatalities: 0

Details: The aircraft crashed shortly after takeoff from Orly Airport in Paris, France. Climbing through FL110 the aircraft lost the rear cargo door, resulting in explosive decompression and damage to the cabin floor and control cables. The aircraft lost control and crashed in a forest at a high speed. The service subcontractor and the flight engineer neglected to check the locking mechanism through a recently installed viewport to verify the door was latched properly. In addition, although a service bulletin stipulated that the locking pin should be extended, it was mistakenly shortened causing the latch to release after the cabin was pressurized.

On June 12, 1972, an American Airlines DC-10 lost its cargo door shortly after taking off from Detroit Michigan. Using mainly engine thrust the crew was able to land safely. The cause was a defect in the latching mechanism on the door.

1 The bomb explodes at 0714 GMT on 23 June 1984 in a suitcase packed into cargo bin 52-left, which had been loaded at Vancouver. The explosion shattered a key bulkhead, sending the plane into a dive  2 The plane hits the sea, off the coast of Ireland
1 The bomb explodes at 0714 GMT on 23 June 1984 in a suitcase packed into cargo bin 52-left, which had been loaded at Vancouver. The explosion shattered a key bulkhead, sending the plane into a dive 2 The plane hits the sea, off the coast of Ireland

6th Worst Disaster

Date: June 23, 1985

Time: 07:15

Location: Atlantic Ocean, 110 miles West of Ireland

Operator: Air India

Flight #: 182

Route: Montreal - London

AC Type: Boeing B-747-237B

Registration: VT-EFO

cn / ln: 21473/330

Aboard: 329 (passengers:307 crew:22)

Fatalities: 329 (passengers:307 crew:22)

Ground Fatalities: 0

Details: The aircraft broke up in flight and crashed into the ocean. Detonation of an explosive device in the forward cargo hold was the reason for the crash. Terrorist working in Vancouver, Canada, checked baggage with bombs onto two flights. One bag transferred at Toronto onto flight 182. The other would have been transferred at Tokyo onto another Air India flight, but exploded at the airport killing 2 baggage handlers. The aircraft was named "Kanishka."

The burned out hull of a Saudi Arabian Lockheed L-1011. Although the plane landed safely, all 301 aboard died before rescue crews could reach them.  The fire started in the aft cargo compartment and the crew failed to take immediate steps to evacuate
The burned out hull of a Saudi Arabian Lockheed L-1011. Although the plane landed safely, all 301 aboard died before rescue crews could reach them. The fire started in the aft cargo compartment and the crew failed to take immediate steps to evacuate

7th Worst Disaster

Date: August 19, 1980

Time: 19:08

Location: Near Riyadh, Saudi Arabia

Operator: Saudi Arabian Airlines

Flight #: 163

Route: Riyadh - Jeddah

AC Type: Lockheed 1011-200 TriStar

Registration: HZ-AHK

cn / ln: 1169

Aboard: 301 (passengers:287 crew:14)

Fatalities: 301 (passengers:287 crew:14)

GroundFatalities: 0

Details: The flight experienced a fire in the aft cargo compartment 6 minutes after taking off from Riyadh. The plane returned to the airport and landed but because of a delay in evacuating the plane, all aboard were killed by smoke and fire. Half a minute before landing the captain decided not to order an emergency evacuation. When he landed, he did not stop immediately but instead proceeded to make a normal landing delaying the fire equipment from putting out the fire. It took a full twenty-three minutes after touchdown before the doors were opened. The reason for crash was failure of the captain to prepare the cabin crew for immediate evacuation upon landing and his failure in not making a maximum stop landing on the runway, with immediate evacuation.

8th Worst Disaster

Date: July 03, 1988

Time: 10:55

Location: Over the Persian Gulf, near Bandar Abbas, Iran

Operator: Iran Air

Flight #: 655

Route: Bandar Abbas - Dubai

AC Type: Airbus A300B2-203

Registration: EP-IBU

cn / ln: 186

Aboard: 290 (passengers:278 crew:12)

Fatalities: 290 (passengers:278 crew:12)

Ground Fatalities: 0

Details: The civilian Iranian airliner was shot down by the U.S. Navy vessel U.S.S. Vincennes with surface-to-air missiles. The Vincennes was protecting other civilian ships in the area from Iranian gunboats. The Vincennes responded to hostile action taking place against a ship by Iranian gun boats. However, orders to the captain were to send a helicopter to investigate but maintain position. In fact, the ship headed towards the hostilities and penetrated 2nm inside Iranian territorial waters and after the helicopter was fired upon, engaged the enemy boats. The ill-fated airliner was delayed in leaving Bandar Abbas because of a problem with the passport of a passenger. Soon after taking off the target appeared on the radar of the Vincennes. Because the plane was late and confusion of time zones, the crew was not expecting an airliner in the area. When the target was first identified, it squawked both 2 (military) and 3 (civilian). The reason for this was the radar tracker ball was left in the vicinity of the Bandar Abbas airport and the radar was picking up both the airliner and a military F-14 jet fighter at the same time. Playing it safe, the plane was misidentified as a F-14 Iranian fighter. The aircraft did not respond to 10 radio challenges from the Vincennes. However, 7 were on military frequencies which the airliner could not pick up. Three were on the civil emergency frequency addressed to the so called military F-14. When the plane was nearing 10 miles from the ship, it was reported to the captain that the aircraft was descending. At that time the surface-to-air missiles were fired destroying the aircraft. At the inquiry computer data showed that the plane was never descending and actually was ascending at a steady rate. Incredibly, a military investigation concluded that although the U.S. government regretted the loss of human life, the captain and crew were not at fault and acted properly in shooting down the airliner.

9th Worst Disaster

Date: February 19, 2003

Time: 17:30

Location: Near Shahdad, Iran

Operator: Military - Islamic Revolution's Guards Corps

Route: Zahedan - Kerman

AC Type: Ilyushin Il-76MD

Registration: 15-22

cn / ln: 63471155

Aboard: 275 (passengers:257 crew:18)

Fatalities: 275 (passengers:257 crew:18)

Ground Fatalities: 0

Details: The plane crashed into an 11,500 ft. mountain in poor weather, about 20 miles from its destination of Kerman. Besides the 18 crew members, the victims included Iran's Revolutionary Guard.

These pictures was taken by an amateur photographer seconds before an American Airlines DC-10 crashed at Chicago O'Hare Airport, after losing an engine during takeoff. Improper maintenance procedures was to blame.
These pictures was taken by an amateur photographer seconds before an American Airlines DC-10 crashed at Chicago O'Hare Airport, after losing an engine during takeoff. Improper maintenance procedures was to blame.

10th Worst Disaster

Date: May 25, 1979

Time: 20:40

Location: Bullen Point, Alaska

Operator: Sea Airmotive

Route: Bullen Point - Deadhorse

AC Type: de Havilland Canada DHC-4A Caribou

Registration: N581PA

cn / ln: 253

Aboard: 3 (passengers:0 crew:3)

Fatalities: 3 (passengers:0 crew:3)

Ground Fatalities: 0

Details: The cargo plane crashed in heavy crosswind while attempting to takeoff. Inadequate preflight preparation and/or planning is considered the reason for crash. Pilot in command failed to follow approved procedures,directives,etc. Cargo shifted.

The cockpit section of Pan Am Flight 103 which crashed at Lockerbie, Scotland after a bomb, planted by terrorists, exploded in the forward cargo area.
The cockpit section of Pan Am Flight 103 which crashed at Lockerbie, Scotland after a bomb, planted by terrorists, exploded in the forward cargo area.

11th Worst Disaster

Date: December 21, 1988

Time: 19:03

Location: Lockerbie, Scotland

Operator: Pan American World Airways

Flight #: 103

Route: London - New York City

AC Type: Boeing B-747-121A

Registration: N739PA

cn / ln: 19646/15

Aboard: 259 (passengers:243 crew:16)

Fatalities: 259 (passengers:243 crew:16)

Ground fatalities: 11

Details: The aircraft disappeared from radar shortly after leveling off at FL 310 while on a flight from Heathrow Airport, London, to New York. The aircraft broke up with two main sections of wreckage coming down in the town of Lockerbie. Detonation of an explosive device in the forward cargo area planted by terrorists is the reason for the crash. Musician Paul Jeffreys was one among the killed. The aircraft was named "Clipper Maid of the Seas."

12th Worst Disaster

Date: September 01, 1983

Time: 18:26

Location: Near Sakhalin Island, Russia

Operator: Korean Airlines

Flight #: 007

Route: Anchorage - Seoul

AC Type: Boeing B-747-230B

Registration: HL-7442

cn / ln: 20559/186

Aboard: 269 (passengers:246 crew:23)

Fatalities: 269 (passengers:246 crew:23)

Ground Fatalities: 0

Details: On a flight from Alaska to South Korea, the airliner drifted off course and twice penetrated Soviet airspace. During the second penetration, the airliner was shot down by a Russian Su-15 Air Force fighter with air-to-air missiles. The aircraft crashed into international waters in the Sea of Japan. U.S. Representative from Georgia Lawrence McDonald was among the killed.

Three minutes after taking off and while in a climbing left turn, at 2,800 ft., parts of the plane, including the vertical stabilizer and rudder, fell from the aircraft.
Three minutes after taking off and while in a climbing left turn, at 2,800 ft., parts of the plane, including the vertical stabilizer and rudder, fell from the aircraft.

13th Worst Disaster

Date: November 12, 2001

Time: 09:16

Location: Belle Harbor, Queens, New York

Operator: American Airlines

Flight #: 587

Route: New York City - Santo Domingo, Dominican Rep.

AC Type: Airbus A-300-605R

Registration: N14053

cn / ln: 420

Aboard: 260 (passengers:251 crew:9)

Fatalities: 260 (passengers:251 crew:9)

Ground Fatalities: 5

Details: Three minutes after taking off and while in a climbing left turn, at 2,800 ft., parts of the plane, including the vertical stabilizer and rudder, fell from the aircraft. The crew soon lost control of the plane which nose dived and crashed into a residential neighborhood. After flying into the wake turbulence of about two minutes into the flight, investigators believe a series of quick rudder swings by the copilot whipped the tail so severely that the fin broke off. The National Transportation Safety Board has found that pilot error was the probable cause. Sharply criticizing American Airlines Advanced Aircraft Maneuvering Program, the Board said that American Airlines' pilot training included a simulator exercise which could have caused the first officer to have an unrealistic and exaggerated view of the effects of wake turbulence, erroneously associate wake turbulence encounters with the need for aggressive roll upset recovery techniques and develop control strategies that would produce a much different -- and potentially surprising and confusing -- response if performed during flight. In addition, because of its high sensitivity, the Airbus A-300-600 rudder control system is susceptible to potentially hazardous rudder pedal inputs at higher airspeed.

The wreckage of a China Airlines Airbus 300 which crashed after the first officer inadvertently triggered the TOGA lever during a landing attempt at Nagoya Airport.
The wreckage of a China Airlines Airbus 300 which crashed after the first officer inadvertently triggered the TOGA lever during a landing attempt at Nagoya Airport.

14th Worst Disaster

Date: April 26, 1994

Time: 20:16

Location: Near Komaki, Aichi, Japan

Operator: China Airlines (Taiwan)

Flight #: 140

Route: Taipe - Nagoya

AC Type: Airbus A300B4-622R

Registration: B-1816cn / ln: 580

Aboard: 271 (passengers:256 crew:15)

Fatalities: 264 (passengers:249 crew:15)

Ground Fatalities: 5

Details: While on ILS approach to Nagoya Airport, at an altitude of 1,000 feet, the first officer inadvertently triggered the TOGA (take-off-go-around) lever. The crew tried to override this situation by turning off the autothrottle and reducing air speed. The aircraft stalled, hit the runway tail first and burst into flames. The plane crashed because of an extreme out of trim configuration brought about by the fact that the tailplane setting had moved automatically and undetected to a maximum nose-up position. The plane climbed at a steep angle until it stalled. The crew could have saved the aircraft even in the final seconds had they reverted to basic flight procedures and switched off the autopilot.


15th Worst Disaster

Date: July 11, 1991

Time: 08:40

Location: Jeddah, Saudi Arabia

Operator: Nationair (chartered by Nigeria Airways)

Flight #: 2120

Route: Jeddah - Sokoto

AC Type: McDonnell Douglas DC-8 Super 61

Registration: C-GMXQ

cn / ln: 45982/345

Aboard: 261 (passengers:247 crew:14)

Fatalities: 261 (passengers:247 crew:14)

Ground Fatalities: 0

Details: After taking off, fire was reported in the landing gear well. The aircraft crashed while trying to return to the airport. Loss of hydraulics and electrical systems after a fire, started in the wheel when two tires disintegrated due to under inflation of one tire. This caused a fire which ignited years of accumulated flammables in the DC-8's wheel well leading to an uncontrolable fire. The plane was allowed to leave with an under inflated tire. Twenty minutes prior to departure, the Nationair lead mechanic made a request for nitrogen to inflate the low tire. Nitrogen was not readily available and a delay would probably have to occur to procure it. The Nationair project manager, without conferring with the flight crew, released the plane.

Started out as an Antarctic sightseeing tour, ended in disaster, when this  Air New Zealand DC-10 crashed into Mt
Started out as an Antarctic sightseeing tour, ended in disaster, when this Air New Zealand DC-10 crashed into Mt

16th Worst Disaster

Date: November 28, 1979

Time: 12:49

Location: Near Mt. Erebus, Ross Ice Shelf, Antarctica

Operator: Air New Zealand

Flight #: 901

Route: Auckland - Christchurch

AC Type: McDonnell Douglas DC-10-30

Registration: ZK-NZP

cn / ln: 46910/182

Aboard: 257 (passengers:237 crew:20)

Fatalities: 257 (passengers:237 crew:20)

Ground Fatalities: 0

Details: The aircraft crashed into the slopes of Mt. Erebus while on sightseeing flight to Antarctica. An incorrect computer-stored flight plan resulted in a navigational error directing the flight towards Mt. Erebus. Because of overcast, the crew descended below authorized altitude. Contributing to the accident was the crew's inexperience with flying the Antarctic route. Information about the navigational errors was suppressed by officials.

This DC-8 crashed at Gander Newfoundland while attempting to takeoff, killing all 256 military passengers and crew aboard.
This DC-8 crashed at Gander Newfoundland while attempting to takeoff, killing all 256 military passengers and crew aboard.

17th Worst Disaster

Date: December 12, 1985

Time: 06:45

Location: Gander, Newfoundland, Canada

Operator: Arrow Airways

Flight #: MF1285R

Route: Gander - Fort Campbell, KY

AC Type: McDonnell Douglas DC-8 Super 63PF

Registration: N950JW

cn / ln: 46058/433

Aboard: 256 (passengers:248 crew:8)

Fatalities: 256 (passengers:248 crew:8)

Ground Fatalities: 0

Details: The aircraft stalled and crashed during takeoff. Two-hundred-forty-four members of the 101st Airborne Division from Fort Campbell, Kentucky were killed in the accident. There is controversy surrounding this crash. The majority opinion of the board was that the cause of the sequence leading up to the stall and crash could not be determined, with icing a possibility. The minority opinion was that the crash was possibly caused by detonation of an explosive device of unknown origin in a cargo compartment which led to an in-flight fire and loss of control of the aircraft.

The accident happened 18 miles short of Medan Airport.
The accident happened 18 miles short of Medan Airport.

18th Worst Disaster

Date: September 26, 1997

Time: 13:34

Location: Buah Nabar, Indonesia

Operator: Garuda Indonesia Airlines

Flight #: 152

Route: Jakarta - Medan

AC Type: Airbus A300-B4-200

Registration: PK-GAI

cn / ln: 214

Aboard: 234 (passengers:222 crew:12)

Fatalities: 234 (passengers:222 crew:12)

Ground Fatalities: 0

Details: The aircraft crashed into mountainous terrain 15 minutes before it was due to land at Medan on a flight from Jakarta. The aircraft crashed 20 miles from the airport. ATC error in directing the plane in the wrong direction was the reason for the crash of the plane into mountainous terrain that was obscured by smoke and haze due to forest fires in the area.

Flames of burning plane.
Flames of burning plane.

19th Worst Disaster

Date: July 17, 1996

Time: 16:35

Location: Off East Moriches, New York

Operator: Trans World Airlines

AC Type: Boeing B-747-131

cn / ln: N93119

Aboard: 230

Fatalities: 230

Ground fatalities: 0

Details: The wreckage and fuel from TWA Flight 800 burns in the Atlantic off East Moriches, New York. All 230 people aboard the Boing 747 perished in the crash after the center fuel tank exploded.

Reconstruction of the cockpit area of a Swissair MD-11 that crashed into the Atlantic Ocean after experiencing an uncontrollable fire aboard
Reconstruction of the cockpit area of a Swissair MD-11 that crashed into the Atlantic Ocean after experiencing an uncontrollable fire aboard

20th Worst Disaster

Date: September 02, 1998

Time: 21:30

Location: Off Peggy's Cove, Nova Scotia, Canada

Operator: Swissair

Flight #: 111

Route: New York City - Geneva

AC Type: McDonnell Douglas MD-11

Registration: HB-IWF

cn / ln: 48448/465

Aboard: 229 (passengers:215 crew:14)

Fatalities: 229 (passengers:215 crew:14)

Ground Fatalities: 0

Details: The aircraft was on a flight from JFK Airport, New York to Geneva, Switzerland when the crew reported smoke in the cockpit and requested an emergency landing at Halifax. The plane began dumping fuel and preparing for an emergency landing when it disappeared from radar and crashed into the Atlantic Ocean southwest of Halifax. A fire in the entertainment system wiring started in a hidden area above the cockpit ceiling when arcing ignited the cover material made of thermal insulation blankets. This set off an in-flight fire that spread and increased in intensity until it led to the loss of the aircraft.. It was determined that aircraft certification standards for material flammability at the time of the accident were inadequate. Dr. Jonathan Mann, researcher in the fight against AIDS was killed in the crash.

Debris of Air France flight recovered from Atlantic Ocean.
Debris of Air France flight recovered from Atlantic Ocean.
Debris of Air France flight recovered from Atlantic Sea.
Debris of Air France flight recovered from Atlantic Sea.

21st Worst Disaster

Date: June 01, 2009

Time: 00:15

Location: Atlantic Ocean, 570 miles northeast of Natal, Brazil

Operator: Air France

Flight #: 447

Route: Rio de Janeiro - Paris

AC Type: Airbus A330-203

Registration: F-GZCP

cn / ln: 660

Aboard: 228 (passengers:216 crew:12)

Fatalities: 228 (passengers:216 crew:12)

Ground Fatalities: 0

Details: The Airbus went missing over the Atlantic Ocean on a flight from Rio de Janeiro to Paris, France. The plane departed from Rio de Janeiro-Galeao International Airport at 19:03 LT bound for Charles de Gaulle Airport in Paris. The last radio contact with the flight was at 01:33 UTC. The aircraft left CINDACTA III radar coverage at 01:48 UTC, flying normally at FL350. The aircraft reportedly went through a thunderstorm with strong turbulence at 02:00 UTC. At 02:14 UTC an automated message was received indicating a failure of the electrical system. The plane carried 12 crew members and 216 passengers.

This Korean Airlines Boeing 747 crashed while attempting to land at Guam in heavy rain.
This Korean Airlines Boeing 747 crashed while attempting to land at Guam in heavy rain.

22nd Worst Disaster

Date: August 06, 1997

Time: 01:42

Location: Agana, Guam

Operator: Korean Airlines

Flight #: 801

Route: Seoul - Guam

AC Type: Boeing B-747-300

Registration: HL-7468

cn / ln: 22487/605

Aboard: 254 (passengers:237 crew:17)

Fatalities: 229 (passengers:215 crew:14)

Ground Fatalities: 0

Details: The aircraft crashed into Nimitz Hill, 3 miles short of Runway 06R, while making a non-precision approach in heavy rain to A.B. Won Guam International Airport. The runway glide slope system was inoperative. In addition, the Minimum Safe Altitude Warning system (MSAW) was also not working due to a software problem. The captain’s failure to adequately brief and execute the non-precision approach and the first officer's and flight engineer's failure to effectively monitor and cross-check the captain’s execution of the approach was the reason for the disaster. Contributing to these failures were the captain's fatigue and Korean Air's inadequate flight crew training and also the Federal Aviation Administration's (FAA) intentional inhibition of the MSAW at Guam and the agency's failure to adequately manage the system.

23rd Worst Disaster

Date: January 08, 1996

Time: 12:43

Location: Kinshasa, Zaire

Operator: African Air

Route: Kinshasa - Kahemba

AC Type: Antonov AN-32B

Registration: RA-26222

cn / ln: 2301

Aboard: 6 (passengers:0 crew:6)

Fatalities: 2 (passengers:0 crew:2)

Ground Fatalities: 225

Details: The aircraft failed to gain altitude after taking off from N'Dolo Airport and ran off the runway and crashed into a market square. The plane was overloaded by 595 lbs. The aircraft certification was revoked and crew did not have authorization to fly. The number killed on the ground varies widely from different sources. The number of fatalities, 225, is derived from the publication Weekly Mail and Guardian in an article covering the court trial of the pilots, charging them with the deaths of 225 people. Some sources quote as many as 350 died.

In this June 23, 2002 file image, Taiwan coast guard inspect the cockpit of the China Airlines Boeing 747-200 flight 611 recovered from the Taiwan Strait on the outlying Taiwan island of Penghu, on the main island of Penghu, Taiwan.
In this June 23, 2002 file image, Taiwan coast guard inspect the cockpit of the China Airlines Boeing 747-200 flight 611 recovered from the Taiwan Strait on the outlying Taiwan island of Penghu, on the main island of Penghu, Taiwan.

24th Worst Disaster

Date: May 25, 2002

Time: 15:29

Location: Off Penghu Island, Taiwan

Operator: China Airlines (Taiwan)

Flight #: 611

Route: Taipei - Hong Kong

AC Type: Boeing B-747-209B

Registration: B-18255

cn / ln: 21843/386

Aboard: 225 (passengers:206 crew:19)

Fatalities: 225 (passengers:206 crew:19)

Ground Fatalities: 0

Details: The flight crashed into the sea, 31 miles NE of the Penghu (Pescadore) Islands in the Taiwan Strait. The plane disappeared from radar while flying at 35,000 ft. approximately 20 minutes after taking off from Chiang Kai Shek Airport. There was no distress call and the weather was good at the time. Military radar revealed that the aircraft disintegrated in midair, breaking into four pieces. Only 175 of 225 bodies were recovered. The carrier failed to conduct a preventive anti-rust operation in a timely manner every four years. Damage from a 1980 tailstrike was not properly repaired and fatigue cracks formed, which eventually led to a structural failure.

Lauda Air Flight 004 crashed into the jungles of Thailand after the No. 1 thrust reverser inadvertently deployed while the aircraft was at 31,000 feet causing the plane to plunge to the ground.
Lauda Air Flight 004 crashed into the jungles of Thailand after the No. 1 thrust reverser inadvertently deployed while the aircraft was at 31,000 feet causing the plane to plunge to the ground.

25th Worst Disaster

Date: May 26, 1991

Time: 23:17

Location: Near Ban Nong Rong, Thailand

Operator: Lauda Air

Flight #: 004

Route: Bangkok - Wien, Austria

AC Type: Boeing B-767-3Z9ER

Registration: OE-LAV

cn / ln: 24628/283

Aboard: 223 (passengers:213 crew:10)

Fatalities: 223 (passengers:213 crew:10)

Ground Fatalities: 0

Details: Twelve minutes after takeoff, the crew received a visual REV ISLN advisory warning which indicated that an additional system failure may cause deployment of the No. 1 engine thrust reverser. No action was taken since the manual indicated "No Action Required". Just before reaching FL 310 during a climb, there was an uncommanded deployment of the No. 1 engine thrust reverser. The aircraft stalled, when into a steep high speed dive, broke apart at 4,000 feet and crashed into the jungle 70 miles northwest of Bangkok. Failure of the reverse thrust isolation valve led to this disaster. Following the accident Boeing made modifications to the thrust reverser system. The aircraft was named Wolfgang Amadeus Mozar

Gameel el-Batouti was suspected of purposely crashing Egyptair 990 (left). Wreckage of the plane (right).
Gameel el-Batouti was suspected of purposely crashing Egyptair 990 (left). Wreckage of the plane (right).

26th Worst Disaster

Date: October 31, 1999

Time: 06:52Z

Location: Off Nantucket Island, Massachusetts

Operator: EgyptAir

Flight #: 990

Route: New York City - Cairo

AC Type: Boeing B-767-366ER

Registration: SU-GAP

cn / ln: 24542/282

Aboard: 217 (passengers:203 crew:14)

Fatalities: 217 (passengers:203 crew:14)

Ground Fatalities: 0

Details: The plane took off from JFK at 1:19 a.m. bound for Cairo, Egypt. Thirty-three minutes later, after attaining an altitude of 33,000 feet, it was observed on radar taking an extremely rapid descent. The aircraft was observed in a 66 degree dive at 483 knots. The descent continued to 16,700 feet after which the aircraft climbed to 24,000 ft. After that, the plane began a second dive and broke up at around 10,000 ft. crashing into the Atlantic Ocean, 60 miles southeast of Nantucket Island. The aircraft was named Thutmosis III. The accident was caused by the relief first officer's flight control inputs which caused the airplane's departure from normal cruise flight and subsequent impact with the Atlantic Ocean. The reason for the first officer's actions were not determined by the NTSB. One could conclude the actions were deliberate in an attempt to commit suicide.

27th Worst Disaster

Date: January 01, 1978

Time: 20:15

Location: Off Bandra, Maharashtra, India

Operator: Air India

Flight #: 855

Route: Bombay - Dubai

AC Type: Boeing B-747-237B

Registration: VT-EBD

cn / ln: 19959/124

Aboard: 213 (passengers:190 crew:23)

Fatalities: 213 (passengers:190 crew:23)

Ground Fatalities: 0

Details: Following a right turn, after taking off, the plane rolled to the left beyond 90 degrees, went into a steep dive, crashed and exploded in shallow water. Irrational control wheel inputs on the part of the captain after his altitude director indicator malfunctioned leading to complete loss of situational awareness.

28th Worst Disaster

Date: February 16, 1998

Time: 20:09

Location: Taipei, Taiwan

Operator: China Airlines (Taiwan)

Flight #: 676

Route: Denpasar - Taipei

AC Type: Airbus A300-622R

Registration: B-1814

cn / ln: 578

Aboard: 196 (passengers:182 crew:14)

Fatalities: 196 (passengers:182 crew:14)

Ground Fatalities: 7

Details: The aircraft was attempting to land at Taipei's international airport in rain and fog when the crew requested a go-around. The plane crashed into a residential neighborhood, ripping the roofs off several structures, skidding into a rice paddy and bursting in flames. DFDR data showed complete autopilot disengagement just after landing clearance. This was followed by an attempted manually flown go-around with falling airspeed and a pitch-up of 40 degrees followed by a gain of 1,000 feet in altitude, total stall and a dive resulting in impact with the ground.

29th Worst Disaster

Date: July 10, 1985

Time: 23:45

Location: Near Uchuduk, Uzbekistan, USSR

Operator: Aeroflot

Flight #: 7425

Route: Karshi - Leningrad

AC Type: Tupolev TU-154B-2

Registration: CCCP-85311

cn / ln: 311

Aboard: 200 (passengers:191 crew:9)

Fatalities: 200 (passengers:191 crew:9)

Ground Fatalities: 0

Details: The aircraft went into an uncontrolled descent from FL 400 and crashed.

Fiery wreckage of a TAM Airbus after it attempted to land in heavy rain at Congonhas Airport. The plane skidded off the end of the runway across a major roadway and struck a gas station and building, bursting into flames.
Fiery wreckage of a TAM Airbus after it attempted to land in heavy rain at Congonhas Airport. The plane skidded off the end of the runway across a major roadway and struck a gas station and building, bursting into flames.

30th Worst Disaster

Date: July 17, 2007

Time: 18:52

Location: Sao Paulo, Brazil

Operator: TAM (Brazil)

Flight #: 3054

Route: Porto Alegre - Sao Paulo

AC Type: Airbus A-320-233

Registration: PR-MBK

cn / ln: 789

Aboard: 187 (passengers:181 crew:6)

Fatalities: 187 (passengers:181 crew:6)

Ground Fatalities: 12

Details: The jet airliner crashed while attempting to land in heavy rain at Congonhas airport. The plane skidded off the end of the runway across a major roadway and struck a gas station and building, bursting into flames. One hundred seventy passengers and a crew of six were aboard.

31st Worst Disaster

Date: December 04, 1974

Time: 22:15

Location: Near Maskeliya, Sri Lanka

Operator: Martinair Holland NV

Route: Surabaya - Jeddah

AC Type: McDonnell Douglas DC-8-55F

Registration: PH-MHB

cn / ln: 45818/242

Aboard: 191 (passengers:182 crew:9)

Fatalities: 191 (passengers:182 crew:9)

Ground Fatalities: 0

Details: The aircraft impacted high ground during approach. The crew descended below a safe altitude due to a position error resulting from misinterpretation of Doppler and weather radar.

32nd Worst Disaster

Date: February 06, 1996

Time: 23:47

Location: Off Puerto Plata, Domincan Republic

Operator: Alas Nacionales, leased from Birgen Air

Flight #: 301

Route: Puerto Plata - Gander

AC Type: Boeing B-757-225

Registration: TC-GEN

cn / ln: 22206/31

Aboard: 189 (passengers:176 crew:13)

Fatalities: 189 (passengers:176 crew:13)

Ground Fatalities: 0

Details: The plane crashed into the Atlantic Ocean, 21 km north of Puerto Plata, shortly after taking off. Incorrect airspeed indications resulting from a clogged pitot tube lead to this crash. The readings were greater than the actual airspeed resulting in the crew reducing power and leading to a stall. Failure of the crew to recognize the activation of the control column shaker as a warning of an imminent stall and alos failure of the crew to carry out the procedures to recover the aircraft from the stall and restore lift were also other reasons that lead to this disaster.

33rd Worst Disaster

Date: August 03, 1975

Time: 04:30

Location: Near Immouzer, Morocco

Operator: Alia Royal Jordanian Airlines

Route: Paris - Agadir

AC Type: Boeing B-707-321C

Registration: JY-AEE

cn / ln: 18767/376

Aboard: 188 (passengers:181 crew:7)

Fatalities: 188 (passengers:181 crew:7)

Ground Fatalities: 0

Details: The aircraft was on approach when the right wing tip and No. 4 engine struck a mountain peak at 2,400 feet. Part of the wing separated and the plane crashed into a ravine. Crew error.

Remains of a LOT IL-62M after an engine fire and cabin decompression caused damage to the elevator and electrical system causing the plane to crash.
Remains of a LOT IL-62M after an engine fire and cabin decompression caused damage to the elevator and electrical system causing the plane to crash.

34th Worst Disaster

Date: May 09, 1987

Time: 11:12

Location: Warsaw, Poland

Operator: LOT Polish Airlines

Flight #: 5055

Route: Warsaw - New York City

AC Type: Ilyushin IL-62M

Registration: SP-LBG

cn / ln: 3344942

Aboard: 183 (passengers:172 crew:11)

Fatalities: 183 (passengers:172 crew:11)

Ground Fatalities: 0

Details: The No. 2 engine failed, causing an engine fire, cabin decompression, damage to the No. 1 engine, loss of elevator control and damage to the electrical system. A fire in the cargo hold was not detected because of damage to the fire warning system. While attempting to return to Warsaw and attempting a turn to land, the aircraft crashed into a forest, 9 miles short of the runway. The cause of the engine failure was an overheated bearing. The aircraft was named Tadeusz Kosciuszko.

35th Worst Disaster

Date: November 15, 1978

Time: 23:30

Location: Near Katunayake, Sri Lanka

Operator: Loftleidir Icelandic Airlines

Route: Jeddah - Colombo

AC Type: McDonnell Douglas DC-8-Super 63CF

Registration: TF-FLA

cn / ln: 46020/415

Aboard: 262 (passengers:249 crew:13)

Fatalities: 183 (passengers:175 crew:8)

Ground fatalities: 0

Details: The aircraft crashed short of the runway into a coconut plantation while attempting to land in heavy rain. Windshear, Excessive sink rate, Crew's non-conformance with approach procedures, Incorrect information supplied by the radar controller, Lack of an approach lighting system at Bandaranaike were all reasons considered for this crash.

Procedural errors by the crew, led to the crash of this AVIANCA Boeing 747 while attempting to land at Madrid, Spain
Procedural errors by the crew, led to the crash of this AVIANCA Boeing 747 while attempting to land at Madrid, Spain

36th Worst Disaster

Date: November 27, 1983

Time: 10:06

Location: Madrid-Barajas, Spain

Operator: AVIANCA

Flight #: 11

Route: Paris - Madrid - Bogota

AC Type: Boeing B-747-283B

Registration: HK-2910

cn / ln: 21381

Aboard: 192 (passengers:169 crew:23)

Fatalities: 181 (passengers:158 crew:23)

Ground fatalities: 0

Details: While attempting to land at Madrid, the crew intercepted the wrong ILS track which caused the pilot to initiate a right turn short of the VOR beacon. The aircraft impacted a series of hills during which the right wing broke off, the aircraft cartwheeled and broke into 5 pieces and came to rest upside down. Procedural errors by the crew including the pilot not knowing his precise position before descending, failure of the crew to take corrective action after a warning from the ground proximity warning system and deficient teamwork on the flight deck were the investigated reasons for this disaster. The aircraft was named "Magnus Viking," LN-RNA and dry-leased from SAS.

The MD81 crashed into a mountain during an approach to Camp dell Oro Airport in heavy fog. The crew was not properly prepared for the approach. The minimum altitude and maximum speed limits of the holding pattern were probably not retained.
The MD81 crashed into a mountain during an approach to Camp dell Oro Airport in heavy fog. The crew was not properly prepared for the approach. The minimum altitude and maximum speed limits of the holding pattern were probably not retained.

37th Worst Disaster

Date: December 01, 1981

Time: 08:53

Location: Mt. San Pietro, near Ajaccio, Corsica, France

Operator: Inex Adria Aviopromet (Yugoslavia)

Flight #: JP1308

Route: Ljubljana - Ajaccio

AC Type: McDonnell Douglas MD-81

Registration: YU-ANA

cn / ln: 48047/998

Aboard: 180 (passengers:173 crew:7)

Fatalities: 180 (passengers:173 crew:7)

Ground Fatalities: 0

Details: The aircraft crashed into a mountain during an approach to Camp dell Oro Airport in heavy fog. The crew was not properly prepared for the approach. The minimum altitude and maximum speed limits of the holding pattern were probably not retained. Imprecise language used by the crew and air traffic controller were other causes behind this crash.

 

38th Worst Disaster

Date: August 11, 1979

Time: 13:35

Location: Dneprodzerzhinsk, Ukraine, USSR

Operator: Aeroflot / Aeroflot

Flight #: 7880

Route: Tashkent - Donetsk - Minsk /Chelyabinsk to Kishinev

AC Type: Tupolev TU-134A / Tupolev Tu-134A

Registration: 65735/65816

cn / ln: 2351516 / 05040

Aboard: 178

Fatalities: 178

Ground Fatalities: 0

Details: Midair collision at 27,200 ft. Separation error by air traffic controller. Eighty four killed on the 65735 and 94 on the 65816. Fourteen players and 3 staff members of the Russian soccer team, Pakhtakor Tashkent were killed.

39th Worst Disaster

Date: June 07, 1989

Time: 04:27

Location: Near Paramaribo, Surinam

Operator: Surinam Airways

Flight #: 764

Route: Paramaribo - Zanderij

AC Type: McDonnell Douglas DC-8 Super 62

Registration: N1809E

cn / ln: 46107/498

Aboard: 187 (passengers:178 crew:9)

Fatalities: 176 (passengers:167 crew:9)

Ground Fatalities: 0

Details: The aircraft hit a tree and crashed during a third landing attempt in fog. The crew descended below the published minimum altitude. Despite concerns about possible landing equipment failures the crew was determined to make a landing and not divert to another airport as they were running out of fuel. They could not get an ILS signal and ignored a Ground Proximity Warning System alarm 60 seconds prior to the crash by turning it off 10 seconds after it started its warning. About 20 members from the Dutch soccer team "Colorful 11" from Surinam were killed.

40th Worst Disaster

Date: September 10, 1976

Time: 10:15

Location: Near Gaj, Hrvatska, Yugoslavia

Operator: Inex Adria Aviopromet / British Airways

Flight #: 330/476

Route: Split - Koln / London - Istanbul

AC Type: McDonnell Douglas DC-9-31 / Trident 3B

Registration: YU-AJR/G-AWZT

cn / ln: 47649741 / 2320

Aboard: 176 (passengers:162 crew:14)

Fatalities: 176 (passengers:162 crew:14)

Ground Fatalities: 0

Details: Midair collision. ATC error, negligence in operations, Improper look-out duties on both aircraft were the reasons behing this crash. One hundred thirteen deaths on the DC-9 and 63 on the Trident. The entire shift of controllers were arrested. One was found guilty of criminal negligence and sentenced to seven years in jail but release after a little over two years.

41st Worst Disaster

Date: January 22, 1973

Time: 09:30

Location: Kano, Nigeria

Operator: Alia Royal Jordanian Airlines

Route: Jeddah - Lagos

AC Type: Boeing B-707-3D3C

Registration: JY-ADO

cn / ln: 20494/850

Aboard: 202 (passengers:193 crew:9)

Fatalities: 176 (passengers:170 crew:6)

Ground Fatalities: 0

Details: The landing gear collapsed after hitting a depression in the runway while landing. The aircraft ran off the side of the runway and caught fire.

 

42nd Worst Disaster

Date: October 13, 1972

Time: 21:50

Location: Near Krasnaya Polyana, USSR

Operator: Aeroflot

Route: Leningrad - Moscow

AC Type: Ilyushin IL-62

Registration: CCCP-86671

cn / ln: 70301

Aboard: 174 (passengers:164 crew:10)

Fatalities: 174 (passengers:164 crew:10)

Ground Fatalities: 0

Details: The aircraft crashed at the outer marker while attempting to land for the third time in poor weather conditions. Sudden incapacitation of the crew for reasons unknown was the reason for this crash.

43rd Worst Disaster

Date: September 19, 1989

Time: 14:00

Location: Near Bilma, Niger

Operator: Union des Transportes Aeriens

Flight #: 772

Route: N'Djamena - Paris

AC Type: McDonnell Douglas DC-10-30

Registration: N54629

cn / ln: 46852/125

Aboard: 171 (passengers:156 crew:15)

Fatalities: 171 (passengers:156 crew:15)

Ground Fatalities: 0

Details: While climbing through FL 350 ft., 46 minutes after takeoff, a bomb exploded in a container in location 13-R in the forward cargo hold. The aircraft disintegrated and crashed into the desert. A Congolese man, who boarded at Brazzaville and disembarked at Ndjamera was believed to have brought the bomb aboard.

 

44th Worst Disaster

Date: September 03, 1989

Time: c 19:00

Location: Near Havana, Cuba

Operator: Cubana de Aviacion

Route: Havana - Köln, Bonn

AC Type: Ilyushin IL-62M

Registration: CU-T1281

cn / ln: 3850453

Aboard: 126 (passengers:115 crew:11)

Fatalities: 126 (passengers:115 crew:11)

Ground Fatalities: 45

Details: The aircraft crashed into navigational towers and residential houses shortly after takeoff in heavy rain and high winds. Decision to fly after an abrupt deterioration in weather conditions lead to this disaster.

 

The plane disappeared from radar shortly after making a distress call. The aircraft was reportly on fire before it crashed. Weather forecasters reported thunderstorms and lightning in the area at the time of the crash.
The plane disappeared from radar shortly after making a distress call. The aircraft was reportly on fire before it crashed. Weather forecasters reported thunderstorms and lightning in the area at the time of the crash.

45th Worst Disasters

Date: August 22, 2006

Time: 15:30

Location: Near Donetsk, Ukraine

Operator: Pulkovo Airlines

Flight #: 612

Route: Anapa - St. Petersburg

AC Type: Tupolev Tu-154M

Registration: RA-851857

cn / ln: 894

Aboard: 170 (passengers:160 crew:10)

Fatalities: 170 (passengers:160 crew:10)

Ground Fatalities: 0

Details: The plane disappeared from radar shortly after making a distress call. A distress call was made at FL330 and again at FL100. The aircraft was reportly on fire before it crashed. The plane crashed in a field, 30 miles North of Donetsk and broke-up. Weather forecasters reported thunderstorms and lightning in the area at the time of the crash. The crew pushed the aircraft beyond its limits as they attempted to fly around a thunderstorm. The crew steered the aircraft under manual control into an angle of attack that was beyond critical which resulted in a stall and the subsequent transition into a flat spin and a collision with the ground. The crew's steering of the aircraft under manual control into an angle of attack that was beyond critical which resulted in a stall and subsequent transition into a flat spin and a collision with the ground caused this crash.

46th Worst Disaster

Date: January 30, 2000

Time: 21:08

Location: Off Abidjan, Ivory Coast

Operator: Kenya Airways

Flight #: 431

Route: Abidjan - Lagos

AC Type: AirbusA310-304

Registration: 5Y-BEN

cn / ln: 426

Aboard: 179 (passengers:169 crew:10)

Fatalities: 169 (passengers:159 crew:10)

Ground Fatalities: 0

Details: The aircraft crashed into the Atlantic Ocean three minutes after taking off from Felix Houphouet-Boigny Airport. A few seconds after lifting off the ground the stall warning sounded and continued for about 20 seconds until it was manually turned off by the crew. Three seconds later the plane impacted the water. The pilot's response to an alarm that inaccurately indicated the plane had stalled. The pilot failed to complete established procedure for such an emergency. Takeoff conditions also contributed to the accident, which occurred at night, hampering the crew's ability to judge the plane's distance from the sea.

 

Crashed into a field and disintegrated shortly after taking off from Tehran.
Crashed into a field and disintegrated shortly after taking off from Tehran.

47th Worst Disaster

Date: July 15, 2009

Time: 11:33

Location: Near Qazvin, Iran

Operator: Caspian Airlines

Flight #: 7908

Route: Tehran, Iran - Yerevan, Armenia

AC Type: Tupolev 154M

Registration: EP-CPG

cn / ln: 87A-748

Aboard: 168 (passengers:153 crew:15)

Fatalities: 168 (passengers:153 crew:15)

Ground Fatalities: 0

Details: The airliner crashed into a field 75 miles northwest of Tehran, 11 minutes after taking off from Imam Khomeini Airport. The plane exploded and disintegrated upon impact.

The plane hit cloud covered high ground while attempting to land 9 miles short of the runway. The pilot began the descent too early and had miscalculated the aircraft's altitude.
The plane hit cloud covered high ground while attempting to land 9 miles short of the runway. The pilot began the descent too early and had miscalculated the aircraft's altitude.

48th Worst Disaster

Date: September 28, 1992

Time: 14:30

Location: Near Kathmandu, Nepal

Operator: Pakistan International Airlines

Flight #: 268

Route: Karachi - Kathmandu

AC Type: Airbus A300B4-203

Registration: AP-BCP

cn / ln: 025

Aboard: 167 (passengers:155 crew:12)

Fatalities: 167 (passengers:155 crew:12)

Ground Fatalities: 0

Details: The plane hit cloud covered high ground while attempting to land, 9 nm short of the runway at Bhattedanda hill. The pilot began the descent too early and had miscalculated the aircraft's altitude. Failure of the crew to follow prescribed procedures.

49th Worst Disaster

Date: March 31, 1986

Time: 09:11

Location: Maravatio, Mexico

Operator: Mexicana

Flight #: 940

Route: Mexico City - Puerto Vallarta

AC Type: Boeing B-727-264

Registration: XA-MEM

cn / ln: 22414/1748

Aboard: 167 (passengers:159 crew:8)

Fatalities: 167 (passengers:159 crew:8)

Ground Fatalities: 0

Details: While climbing through 29,000 feet, an overheated tire exploded in the wheel well after takeoff and damaged the hydraulic and electrical systems of the aircraft. The plane lost control and crashed. The tire had been serviced with air rather than nitrogen. The air, under high temperature and pressure, resulted in a chemical reaction within the tire itself which led to an explosion of the tire.

50th Worst Disaster

Date: July 07, 1980

Time: 00:39

Location: Nar Alma-Ata, Kasakastan, USSR

Operator: Aeroflot

Flight #: 4225

Route: Alma Ata - Simferopol

AC Type: Tupolev TU-154B

Registration: CCCP-85355

cn / ln: 355

Aboard: 166 (passengers:156 crew:10)

Fatalities: 166 (passengers:156 crew:10)

Ground Fatalities: 0

Details: The aircraft crashed and burned in a field 2 minutes after takeoff due to Windshear.

Note

There are still 50 more disasters that I will be adding later

More by this Author


Comments 31 comments

livingsta profile image

livingsta 8 months ago from United Kingdom Author

Hi Claire, thank you for reading and sharing your share of information on this. Have a great 2016!


livingsta profile image

livingsta 8 months ago from United Kingdom Author

Hi islandangler,

I agree. We learn from our mistakes / errors. Thank you for stopping by and sharing your opinion. Have a great 2016!


livingsta profile image

livingsta 8 months ago from United Kingdom Author

Hi RobertConnorIII, so true. It is so amazing how a small error can lead to massive destruction. Thank you for passing by. Have a great 2016!


Claire 12 months ago

Hi just saying but for no.29 Aeroflot flight 7245 it was because the captain let his son fly the plane and his slight pressure on the controls turned off the part of the auto pilot controlling the aelarons (I know I spelt it wrong) and plane kept banking until it got to 45 degrees and completely turned off and eventually crashed. If you wanted to edit also I'm not critisising one of my friends is Russian and doesn't like it when someone gets some facts wrong with flight.


islandangler profile image

islandangler 22 months ago from Malta

Its ironic but thanks to these disasters Air Travel has become more and more safe


RobertConnorIII profile image

RobertConnorIII 2 years ago from Michigan

Sad for the family members involved. But with every accident valuable lessons are learned!


Someone in the World 3 years ago

How bout SilkAir Flight 185?


livingsta profile image

livingsta 4 years ago from United Kingdom Author

@Ron, Thank you :)


livingsta profile image

livingsta 4 years ago from United Kingdom Author

@Mike, Thank you, will do one :)


livingsta profile image

livingsta 4 years ago from United Kingdom Author

@Bob Young, thank you for the information, appreciation and advice :)


Ron 4 years ago

Really wonderful stuff can be found on your hub.

Ron from Fitness http://www.intervalstraining.net


Mike 4 years ago

This is a fascinating and well written account of air tragedies but it should be followed up with another account called Aircraft Near Disaters dealing with crashes where passengers survived against the odds. Examples: 747 crashing landing at Heathrow in heavy rain when it fish tailed down the runway, Passenger jet in the Hudson river, BA plane crashing just short of the runway, jet landing on a motorway, jet diverting to disused airfield with no fuel, etc. In some ways these types of drama are more interesting than fatalities as the passengers survived terrible circumstances.


Bob Young 4 years ago

The Air Newq Zealand Accident was caused by the company giving the crew a flight plan that was in error. The company lied and tried to blame the crew. The famouse line, "an orchestrated littany of lies" pretty much describes the investigation of Air New Zealand.

Your site would be better if you kept your personal comments out of the reports. All in all, very informative.


livingsta profile image

livingsta 4 years ago from United Kingdom Author

Yeah It must be. Thank you for stopping by and writing Steve !


livingsta profile image

livingsta 4 years ago from United Kingdom Author

Thank you Flying License !


JohnC 4 years ago

Air New Zealand flight 901 did not descend below authorized altitude because of overcast. The pilot descended despite overcast skies, and not being able to see where he was going. He wasn't under radar control, and didn't bother to use his own radar. He knew there was a big mountain in the area, but didn't worry that he couldn't see it. Yet he thought that visibility was 40 miles. Well if it was where was the mountain? If I had lost a huge mountain, I wouldn't descend to 1,500 feet looking for it!


Steve 5 years ago

Hi Livingsta a friend I fly with recommended your hub to me, you have certainly done an amazing job. Number 25 in your list, the Lauda Air crash is an accident I know a lot about. I fly the B767 and have flown a simulator training session of what the Lauda pilots actually experienced. It must have been horrific.


Flying License 5 years ago

What a fantastic hub, to have summarized these disasters into an easy format yet very informative read. I studied the Tenerife disaster many years ago when it was considered the worlds worst aviation disaster. Remembering one of the causes of the accident was due to the Captain of the KLM aircraft making a fatal mistake primarily due to the stress he was enduring due to time pressure. He and the crew were almost out of duty time when he incorrectly assumed he was cleared for take off. He wasn't!!! It is always good to keep these past accidents in mind. Never, ever rush!!!


livingsta profile image

livingsta 5 years ago from United Kingdom Author

@Julius Abbey: thanks for reading...and appreciating..

I will have a look to see if I can find any info on your query

God bless


livingsta profile image

livingsta 5 years ago from United Kingdom Author

Thanks Blissful writer for stopping by and the info !


julius Abbey 5 years ago

Thank you very much for a great JOB, on behalf of the families of those those who were lost aboard these AIRLINERS,i thank you greatlyGOD BLESS....PS...COULD ANYONE REMEMBER A NIGERIA AIRWAYS DC10 THAT CRASHED NEAR LAGOS WHILE ON LANDING APPROCH IN THE 80S..?


BlissfulWriter profile image

BlissfulWriter 5 years ago

The one that I heard about the most was the "Pan American World Airways / KLM" one. The story behind that one is interesting. It was written about in books and in TV too.


afzal;lllll 5 years ago

Thank you, BobbiRant.http://www.forexinomen.info/ Sometimes they say that Jewish celebrations are all about eating and drinking red wine. Well, true


livingsta profile image

livingsta 6 years ago from United Kingdom Author

Thanks a lot for the comments Taylor Finch. Even I got the idea of writing this hub, by watching these programs. I even have a collection of these documentaries. It is really interesting to learn the little reasons behind these big disasters, but it is so sad to see the loss behind it.


Taylor Finch profile image

Taylor Finch 6 years ago from United Kingdom

Great hub. I often watch Air Crash Investigation so remember many of these well.


livingsta profile image

livingsta 6 years ago from United Kingdom Author

True prasetio30, we all hope that these disasters never happen again. So sad . Thank you for the comments


prasetio30 profile image

prasetio30 6 years ago from malang-indonesia

wow.... you give me a lot of information about those disaster. Many accident we should to know. And we can learn from it. I hope it wouldn't happen again.


livingsta profile image

livingsta 6 years ago from United Kingdom Author

Thanks a lot for the comments and appreciation Melanie...like you said..i should look through and do another hub... :)

Thanks again !!!


privateye2500 profile image

privateye2500 6 years ago from Canada, USA, London

THAT is one AMAZING hub. I mean it is far more than a hub IMO, it should be a published article in a magazine.

PS/ How many of the over 5000 were due to hijackers?

It must have taken a long time to write that...

Kudos!

Melanie


livingsta profile image

livingsta 6 years ago from United Kingdom Author

Thanks a lot for the appreciation Cristina


cristina327 profile image

cristina327 6 years ago from Manila

This is indeed a great hub with a great wealth of information. Thank you for sharing it. REmain blessed always.

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