1908-09-17 to Present
WorldThe air planes accidents happened in the twentieth century.
The first involving a powered aircraft was the crash of a Wright Model A aircraft at Fort Myer, Virginia, in the United States on September 17, 1908, injuring its co-inventor and pilot, Orville Wright, and killing the passenger, Signal Corps Lieutenant Thomas Selfridge.
The Turkish Airlines Flight 981, a McDonnell Douglas DC-10, crashed in a forest northeast of Paris, France On March 3, 1974. The London-bound plane crashed shortly after taking off from Orly airport. All 346 people on board died. It was later determined that the cargo door detached, which caused an explosive decompression; this caused the floor just above to collapse. The collapsed floor severed the control cables, which left the pilots without control of the elevators, the rudder, and the second engine. The plane entered a steep dive and crashed. It is currently the deadliest single-aircraft crash with no survivors.
The Tenerife airport disaster, which occurred on March 27, 1977, remains the accident with the highest number of airliner passenger fatalities. 583 people died when a KLM Boeing 747 attempted to take off without flight clearance and collided with a taxiing Pan Am 747 at Los Rodeos Airport on the Canary Island of Tenerife, Spain. There were no survivors from the KLM aircraft and only 61 of the 396 passengers and crew on the Pan Am aircraft survived. Pilot error was the primary cause, as the KLM captain began his takeoff run without obtaining air traffic control clearance
Boeing 747-237B, Air India Flight 855 on January 1, 1978, crashed into the Arabian Sea just off the coast of Bombay, India, killing all 190 passengers and 23 crew on board. An investigation concluded that the captain became disoriented after the failure of one of the flight instruments in the cockpit, leading to "irrational control inputs" that caused the plane to crash.
American Airlines Flight 191, a McDonnell Douglas DC-10-10, crashed on May 25, 1979, shortly after lifting off the runway at Chicago O'Hare Airport after the number one (left) engine and pylon separated from the wing. This broke hydraulic lines, causing leading edge lift devices to retract on that side of the aircraft and resulted in an asymmetrical lift and loss of control. The accident was attributed to improper maintenance procedures. The crash resulted in the deaths of all 271 passengers and crew on board, as well as two people on the ground. It remains the deadliest commercial aircraft accident in United States history
Air New Zealand Flight 901, an Antarctic sightseeing flight, on November 28, 1979, collided with Mount Erebus on Ross Island, Antarctica, killing all 237 passengers and 20 crew on board. The flight crew had not been informed that the computer coordinates for the flight path of the McDonnell Douglas DC-10-30 had been changed the night before, directing the flight directly into Mount Erebus rather than the usual path down McMurdo Sound.
Saudi Arabian Airlines Flight 163, a Lockheed L-1011, became the world's deadliest aviation accident that did not involve a crash. On August 19, 1980, The crew performed an emergency landing at Riyadh after a fire broke out in an aft baggage compartment. The fire burned through the ceiling of the compartment and into the passenger cabin. While the crew managed to land the plane safely, the captain did not stop immediately and order an evacuation. He taxied off the runway instead, by which time everyone in the cabin had become unconscious due to fumes and unable to open any doors or evacuate. All 301 passengers and crew died of suffocation before rescue ground crews could open any door, after which the aircraft burst into flames and was consumed by fire.
Soviet interceptor Sukhoi Su-15 shot down Korean Air Lines Flight 007, a Boeing 747-230B, bound for Gimpo International Airport in Seoul, South Korea, after it flew into Soviet airspace; all 269 passengers and crew on board died.
Air India Flight 182, a Boeing 747-237B, crashed off the southwest coast of Ireland on June 23, 1985, when a bomb exploded in the cargo hold. All 307 passengers and 22 crew members died. One passenger had checked in as "M. Singh". Singh did not board the flight. His suitcase containing the bomb was loaded onto the plane, however. "Mr. Singh" was never identified or captured. It was later determined Sikh extremists were behind the bombing as a retaliation for the Indian government's attack on the Golden Temple in the city of Amritsar, which is very important for the Sikhs. This was, at the time, the deadliest terrorist attack involving an airplane.
Tupolev Tu-154B-2, Aeroflot Flight 7425, on a domestic Karshi–Ufa–Leningrad route on July 10, 1985, crashed near Uchkuduk, Uzbek SSR, Soviet Union, on the second leg of its route. All 191 passengers and 9 crew were killed. An investigation concluded that the plane went down due to pilot error. The aircrew used an inappropriately low airspeed, causing vibrations that they incorrectly interpreted as engine surges. As a result, they further reduced engine power, causing the aircraft to stall and crash
The crashes of Japan Airlines Flight 123 on August 12, 1985, is the single-aircraft disaster with the highest number of fatalities: 520 people died on board a Boeing 747. The aircraft suffered an explosive decompression from an incorrectly repaired aft pressure bulkhead, which failed in mid-flight, destroying most of its vertical stabilizer and severing all of the hydraulic lines, making the 747 virtually uncontrollable. Pilots were able to keep the plane flying for 32 minutes after the mechanical failure before crashing into a mountain. All 15 crew members and 505 of the 509 passengers on board died.
Douglas DC-8, Arrow Air Flight 1285, On December 12, 1985, carrying American military personnel on a charter flight home for Christmas, crashed in Newfoundland; all 248 passengers and 8 crew members died. The Canadian Aviation Safety Board investigating the cause of the crash issued two different reports: the majority report cited ice on the wings as a cause of the crash; the minority report suggests an explosion was the likely cause.
Iran Air Flight 655, an Iranian Airbus A300-200 airliner, was shot down on July 3, 1988, by two surface-to-air missiles from the U.S. Navy guided-missile cruiser USS Vincennes over the Strait of Hormuz. All 290 passengers and crew aboard the aircraft died.
Pan Am Flight 103, a Boeing 747–121 bound for New York–JFK from London–Heathrow with continued service to Detroit, was destroyed by a terrorist bomb over the town of Lockerbie, Scotland. All 243 passengers and 16 crew, and 11 people on the ground (all residents of Sherwood Crescent, Lockerbie), died, making it the worst terrorist attack involving an aircraft in the UK and the deadliest terrorist attack on British soil.
Boeing 767-3Z9ER, On May 26, 1991, Lauda Air Flight 004, broke up in midair over a remote area of Thailand due to an uncommanded deployment of a thrust reverser on one of the plane's engines, killing all 213 passengers and 10 crewmembers aboard. The flight, which originated at Kai Tak Airport, Hong Kong, and made a stopover at Don Mueang International Airport in Bangkok, Thailand, was en route to Vienna International Airport, Vienna, Austria when the accident occurred.
Nigeria Airways Flight 2120, a Douglas DC-8-61 aircraft operated by Nationair Canada, crashed in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, On July 11, 1991, after two tires ignited upon takeoff, leading to an in-flight fire. All 247 passengers and 14 crew members were killed. It is the deadliest aviation accident involving a DC-8, the largest aviation disaster involving a Canadian-registered aircraft and the second-worst accident in Saudi Arabia.
The Charkhi Dadri mid-air collision took place between Saudia Flight 763 and Kazakhstan Airlines Flight 1907 over Charkhi Dadri, India on November 12, 1996. The collision was mainly the result of the Kazakh pilot flying lower than the assigned clearance altitude. All 349 passengers and crew on board of both the aircraft died. It remains the world's deadliest mid-air collision.
ِِA Boeing 747-131, TWA Flight 800, carrying 212 passengers and 18 crew, exploded and crashed into the Atlantic Ocean near East Moriches, New York, shortly after departing from John F. Kennedy International Airport on a flight to Paris and Rome. A lengthy investigation concluded that the probable cause of the accident was a short circuit in a fuel tank that contained an explosive mixture of fuel vapor and air. As a result, new requirements were developed to prevent future fuel tank explosions in aircraft.
A Boeing 747-3B5, Korean Air Flight 801, crashed on August 6, 1997, on approach to the international airport in the United States territory of Guam, killing 228 of the 254 people aboard. Contributing factors in the crash were fatigue and errors by the flight crew, inadequate flight crew training, and a modification of the airport's altitude warning system that prevented it from detecting aircraft below a minimum safe altitude.
Airbus A300B4-220, Garuda Indonesia Flight 152, which departed from Jakarta, Indonesia, and was preparing to land at Medan, North Sumatra, crashed into mountainous terrain, killing 222 passengers and 12 crew members. The causes included turning left instead of right as instructed by the ATC and descending below the assigned altitude of 2,000 feet due to pilot error.
Airbus A300B4-622R, China Airlines Flight 676, On February 16, 1998, en route from Ngurah Rai Airport in Bali, Indonesia, to Chiang Kai-shek International Airport (now Taoyuan International Airport), Taiwan, crashed into a road and residential neighborhood in Taoyuan, Taiwan, killing 182 passengers, 14 crew, and 7 people on the ground. An investigation determined that when the control tower ordered the pilot to abort his landing and "go around" for a second attempt, the pilot, who had unintentionally released the plane's autopilot, did nothing to take control of the plane for 11 seconds as he apparently thought the autopilot would initiate the go-around. As the aircraft approached the airport, the pilot executed a sudden steep ascent that produced a stall and crash.
Boeing 767-366ER, EgyptAir Flight 990, flying from Los Angeles International Airport, United States, to Cairo International Airport, Egypt, with a stop at John F. Kennedy International Airport, New York City, crashed into the Atlantic Ocean south of Nantucket Island, Massachusetts, killing all 203 passengers and 14 crewmembers. The National Transportation Safety Board determined that the probable cause of the crash was a deliberate action by the relief first officer in response to his removal from international service within Egyptair, a finding disputed by Egyptian authorities who maintain another cause of the accident
The deadliest aviation-related disaster of any kind, considering fatalities on both the aircraft and the ground, was the destruction of the World Trade Center in New York City on September 11, 2001. On that morning, four commercial aircraft traveling on transcontinental flights from East Coast airports to California were hijacked after takeoff. The four hijacked aircraft were subsequently crashed in four separate suicide attacks against major American landmarks, by 19 Islamic terrorists affiliated with Al Qaeda. American Airlines Flight 11 and United Airlines Flight 175 were intentionally crashed into the North and South Towers respectively of the World Trade Center, destroying both buildings in less than two hours. The World Trade Center crashes killed 2,753, the vast majority of fatalities being occupants of the World Trade Center towers or emergency personnel responding to the disaster. Also, 184 were killed by American Airlines Flight 77, which crashed into the Pentagon (causing severe damage and partial destruction to the building's west side). 40 passengers were also killed when United Airlines Flight 93 crashed into a Somerset County, Pennsylvania field after passengers fought back and prevented the hijackers from reaching their designated target.
American Airlines Flight 587, an Airbus A300, crashed on November 12, 2001, in the Belle Harbor neighborhood of Queens, New York, just after departing John F. Kennedy International Airport bound for Las Américas International Airport, Santo Domingo. The first officer's overuse of the rudder in response to wake turbulence from a Japan Airlines 747 was cited as a cause. All 260 people on board, as well as five people on the ground, died from the crash. It is the second-deadliest aviation accident on U.S. soil, after American Airlines Flight 191.
A Boeing 747-209B, on May 25, 2002, China Airlines Flight 611, bound for Hong Kong International Airport in Hong Kong, disintegrated in mid-air and crashed into the Taiwan Strait 20 minutes after takeoff from Chiang Kai-shek International Airport (now Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport) in Taiwan. It was determined that the crash, which killed all 206 passengers and 19 crew members aboard the plane, was caused by improper repairs to the aircraft 22 years earlier when the aircraft encountered a tailstrike.
Malaysia Airlines Flight 17, a Boeing 777-200ER, flying from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur with 298 people on board, was shot down in an area of Eastern Ukraine near the Ukraine/Russian border during the War in Donbass. There were 283 passengers, including 3 infants, and 15 crew members on board MH17, all of whom perished. The crew was all Malaysians, while the passengers were of various nationalities, most from the Netherlands.
An Airbus A321-231, Metrojet Flight 9268, crashed in the Sinai Peninsula after departing Sharm el-Sheikh International Airport, Egypt, On October 31, 2015, en route to Pulkovo Airport, Saint Petersburg, Russia. All 217 passengers and 7 crewmembers were killed. A branch of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant claimed responsibility for bringing down the jet, and a Russian investigation concluded that a bomb was detonated inside the plane at a high altitude.