44 Years ago today: On 27 May 1977 an Aeroflot Ilyushin 62 struck powerlines and crashed near Havana, Cuba; killing 68 out of 70 occupants.
|Date:||Friday 27 May 1977|
|Operator:||Aeroflot, International Civil Aviation Directorate|
|Total airframe hrs:||5549|
|Engines:||4 Soloviev D-30KU|
|Crew:||Fatalities: 10 / Occupants: 10|
|Passengers:||Fatalities: 57 / Occupants: 59|
|Total:||Fatalities: 67 / Occupants: 69|
|Aircraft fate:||Written off (damaged beyond repair)|
|Location:||1,3 km (0.8 mls) SW of Havana-José Martí International Airport (HAV) ( Cuba)|
|Nature:||International Scheduled Passenger|
|Departure airport:||Lisboa-Portela de Sacavém Airport (LIS/LPPT), Portugal|
|Destination airport:||Havana-José Martí International Airport (HAV/MUHA), Cuba|
Aeroflot flight 331 departed Moscow-Sheremetyevo Airport on a scheduled service to Havana, Cuba, with en route stops at Frankfurt, Germany and Lisbon, Portugal. After the crew change, the flight took off from Lisbon at 03:32 UTC.
The en route part of the flight was uneventful. Descending towards Havana, the flight was vectored for an approach to runway 05. The aircraft turned onto runway heading at a distance of 9 km from the runway threshold. According to the approach procedure, the aircraft should have done so at 14-15 km from the threshold. During the approach the flight crew encountered a local fog bank. With the runway not in sight, the aircraft descended below the decision height of 150 m. At that point the aircraft was 3 km from the runway threshold.
The flight crew had not set their altimeters to the airfield pressure (QFE) of 752 mm Hg. This caused the aircraft to be lower than indicated.
At a distance of 1,820 meters from the runway the aircraft hit power lines, causing the aircraft to bank 70° to the right. The aircraft cut the tops of 22 palm trees, passed across a canal and impacted wasteland terrain 1270 m short of the runway and 121 m to the right of the extended centreline.