59 Years ago today: On 7 July 1962 an Alitalia McDonnell Douglas DC-8-43 crashed on approach to Bombay, killing all 94 occupants.
|Date:||Saturday 7 July 1962|
|Total airframe hrs:||964|
|Engines:||4 Rolls-Royce Conway 508-12|
|Crew:||Fatalities: 9 / Occupants: 9|
|Passengers:||Fatalities: 85 / Occupants: 85|
|Total:||Fatalities: 94 / Occupants: 94|
|Aircraft fate:||Written off (damaged beyond repair)|
|Location:||11 km (6.9 mls) NW of Junnar ( India)|
|Crash site elevation:||1098 m (3602 feet) amsl|
|Phase:||En route (ENR)|
|Nature:||International Scheduled Passenger|
|Departure airport:||Bangkok-Don Muang International Airport (BKK/VTBD), Thailand|
|Destination airport:||Bombay-Santacruz Airport (BOM/VABB), India|
Alitalia flight 771 was a scheduled flight from Sydney (Australia) to Rome (Italy) via Darwin (Australia), Singapore, Bangkok (Thailand), Bombay (India), Karachi (Pakistan) and Tehran (Iran). It departed Bangkok Airport for Bombay-Santacruz Airport at 15:16 UTC (22:16 local time). At 18:20 UTC (22:50 local time) the crew contacted Bombay Approach and received clearance to descend from FL350 to FL200. Five minutes later further clearance was given to 4000 feet. In preparation for a runway 27 approach, the crew reported that they would make a 360 degrees turn over the Outer Marker. Last radio contact was at 18:39 (00:09 local time). The DC-8 had descended below minimum safe altitude and struck the Davandyachi Hill at an elevation of approximately 3600 ft amsl (1098 m).
PROBABLE CAUSE: “The accident was attributed to a navigation error which led the pilot to believe that he was nearer his destination than he actually was and, therefore, caused him to make a premature descent in instrument conditions for a straight-in approach to land at night. The aircraft consequently, crashed into high terrain. Contributing causes were: 1) Failure on the part of the pilot to make use of the navigational facilities available in order to ascertain the correct position of the aircraft.
2) Infringement of the prescribed minimum safe altitude. 3) Unfamiliarity of the pilot with the terrain on the route.”