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7 July 1962 - Alitalia 771

Alitalia Flight 771 was a multi-leg Douglas DC-8-43 international scheduled flight from Sydney via Darwin, Bangkok, Bombay, Karachi and Tehran to Rome with 94 on board.
On July 7, 1962 18:40 UTC it crashed into a hill about 84 km north-east of Mumbai while on approach.

The accident was attributed to a navigation error which led the pilot to believe that he was nearer to 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.

Notes: The following excerpts are based on messages on HF/RT up until 1820 - thereafter they are from the transcript of a tape recorder.


1720 First contact with Bombay FIC... off Bangkok 1516... ETA Bombay 1845 Flight Level 360, request weather forecast for the ETA.
1747 landing forecast 1730 GMT passed
1801 at flight level 350
1814 Akola 1813, flight level 350, estimating Aurangabad 1826. Request descent clearance at 1826
The aircraft changed to Bombay Approach frequency at 1820.
1820 Aircraft requested to start descent when over Aurangabad, (AU) down to flightlevel 200. Approved.
1822 1800 weather provided and acknowledged.
1824:36:00 ... leaving flight level 350 down to 200, Bombay at 45.
1825 cleared down to 4000 transition level, flight level 55 altimeter 29.59 inches
1828:04:00 weather passed, QNH 29.58 inches
1829 wish to land on runway 27
1838:34:00 771 was asked whether it would be making a three sixty over the marker or coming straight in from the outer marker for the landing
1838:49:00 "OK"
1838:54:00 "771 is leaving now five thousand three six zero on the outer marker"
  "771 say again your last message"
1839:09:00 "Say again please."
  "771 unable to makeout your last message, will you please repeat."
  "771 please say again. "
  "771 request your intentions - Are you coming straight in from the outer marker for landing runway two, seven or making a three sixty over the outer marker then reporting leaving outer marker inbound over? "
1839:38:00 "OK clear to the outer marker runway two seven make a three sixty on the outer marker then report the outer marker inbound for runway two seven. "
  "Roger understand you will be making a three sixty over the outer marker Report leaving outer marker while proceeding making a three sixty."
1839:58:00 "Roger will do Alitalia seven seven one. "

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