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Aeroflot Flight 331

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Aeroflot Flight 331
Ilyushin Il-62M Aeroflot CCCP-86614 (7585427734).jpg
The aircraft involved in the accident
Date27 May 1977
SummaryPilot error
SiteOff José Martí International Airport
22°59′21″N 82°24′33″W / 22.98917°N 82.40917°W / 22.98917; -82.40917
Aircraft typeIlyushin Il-62M
Flight originSheremetyevo International Airport
1st stopoverFrankfurt Airport
Last stopoverLisbon Airport
DestinationJosé Martí International Airport
Fatalities69 (1 on ground)

Aeroflot Flight 331 refers to an Ilyushin Il-62M, that crashed approximately 1 km (0.62 mi) away from José Martí International Airport, in Havana, Cuba, on 27 May 1977. The accident occurred after the aircraft hit power lines on its final approach to the airport, during poor weather.[1][2] The aircraft was attempting an emergency landing, due to a fire in one of its engines.[2][3] Only two of the 70 occupants on board survived; another person on the ground was also killed.[1][4]

The cause of the crash was determined as pilot error according to the official report.[4]

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The aircraft involved was an Ilyushin Il-62M airliner, registered as CCCP-86614 and operated by International Civil Aviation Directorate of Aeroflot. At the time of the accident, the aircraft had 5549 hours of flight and 1144 use cycles. The aircraft was finished and delivered to Aeroflot in 1975.[1]

Passengers and crew

At the stopover in Lisbon a new crew was charged with the aircraft. The five-member crew consisted of Captain Viktor Orlov, co-pilot Vasily Shevelev, navigator Anatoly Vorobyov, flight engineer Yuri Suslov and radio operator Evgeniy Pankov. The only two survivors of the crash were a West German woman and a Soviet man.[3] One of the victims was José Carlos Schwarz, a poet and musician from Guinea-Bissau.[5]

Nationality Passengers Crew Total
Soviet Union 28 10 38
United Kingdom 12 0 12
Cuba 8 0 8
Sweden 3 0 3
Australia 2 0 2
Guinea-Bissau 2 0 2
West Germany 2 0 2
Mexico 1 0 1
Netherlands 1 0 1
Total 59 10 69[6][4]

Sequence of events

At 03:32 UTC Aeroflot flight 331 took off from Lisbon airport and ascended to 35 thousand feet (10.67 kilometers). While on approach to Havana the crew reported seeing false altitude and air pressure readings. Upon approach to Havana, they were granted permission to descend from 35,000 feet to 15,000 feet, followed by being ordered to descend to 3,000 ft. Set to approach number two, they had to fly two minutes then turn 52° to land on the runway at the glide path. At the time, cumulus clouds were present, visibility was 8 kilometers (but a dense fog was 40 meters high), air pressure was 758mm Hg (or 0.99737 atm) and the temperature was 21° Celsius.[4][6] At 8:45:28 (12:45:28 UTC) local time at 1270 meters from the runway, the crew spotted power lines 28 meters high, and attempted to avoid them by pitching the nose up. But at 23–25 meters they clipped all four power lines, slicing he stabilizer and severing the right outboard wing flaps. The damage caused by the power lines resulted in the aircraft making a sharp bank to the right at 70° in three seconds. The aircraft struck the ground first with its right wing and nose, followed by total hull loss of the aircraft due the fire engulfing the cabin, only the tail section was spared.[4]


The investigation into the accident revealed serious errors made by the crew in the last moments of the flight. The main cause of the accident was a blatant violation of the approach procedure, errors in calculating altitude resulting in incorrect altitude readings leading to a premature descent and attempting a visual approach in a dense fog. Also cited was the incorrect use of the radio altimeter by the crew.[4]

See also


  1. ^ a b c Accident description for CCCP-86614 at the Aviation Safety Network. Retrieved on 3 September 2011.
  2. ^ a b "Airline accidents". Flight International: 1689. 11 June 1977. Archived from the original on 28 March 2013. It is reported that the aircraft struck a power line while attempting an emergency landing in fog.
  3. ^ a b "Soviet Jet Crashes; 66 Die". Nashua Telegraph. Mexico City. Associated Press. 28 May 1977. p. 1.
  4. ^ a b c d e f Катастрофа Ил-62М ЦУ МВС близ Гаваны (Куба) [Accident Il-62M Havana] (in Russian). Retrieved 7 August 2012.
  5. ^ Anne Summers and David Marr, "One white man who won the trust of Aborigines", National Times (6–11 June 1977), p.24.
  6. ^ a b "Plane crash IL-62M near Havana (Cuba). 1977". Retrieved 7 January 2017.[unreliable source?]

Further reading

This page was last edited on 30 October 2019, at 17:48
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