ASN Aircraft accident Ilyushin Il-18D OK-WAI Gander Airport, NL (YQX)
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Status:Accident investigation report completed and information captured
Date:Tuesday 5 September 1967
Time:05:10 UTC
Type:Silhouette image of generic IL18 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Ilyushin Il-18D
Operator:CSA Ceskoslovenské Aerolinie
Registration: OK-WAI
MSN: 187009705
First flight: 1967
Crew:Fatalities: 4 / Occupants: 8
Passengers:Fatalities: 33 / Occupants: 61
Total:Fatalities: 37 / Occupants: 69
Aircraft damage: Destroyed
Aircraft fate: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Location:1 km (0.6 mls) SE of Gander Airport, NL (YQX) (   Canada)
Phase: Initial climb (ICL)
Nature:International Scheduled Passenger
Departure airport:Gander Airport, NL (YQX/CYQX), Canada
Destination airport:Havana-José Martí International Airport (HAV/MUHA), Cuba
Flightnumber: 523
The aircraft operated on a flight from Prague, Czechoslovakia, to Havana, Cuba with intermediate stops at Shannon, Ireland and Gander, Canada. The flight to Gander was routine and the Ilyushin was refueled for the remainder of the flight.
The flight took off from runway 14 and started to climb under an abnormally shallow angle. The highest altitude reached was 125 feet at the end of the runway. It was a dark overcast night and the initial climb area after passing the runway end was devoid of lights. The airplane then descended until it struck a wire of a mast and impacted the ground at a ground speed of 363 km/h. It continued until striking a railway embankment, 4000 feet past the end of the runway. A post impact fire broke out.

No probable cause could be established by the investigators. The airplane was overloaded by 119 kg but this would have had no significant effect on the performance of the aircraft.
According to available data the pilot-in-command's altimeter was subject to frictional errors, which could have resulted in slight delays in response and the pilot-in-command's and co-pilot's gyro horizons were subject to pitch indication errors as a result of acceleration forces, which could have ranged from 1,5° to 4°.

Probable Cause:

PROBABLE CAUSE: Undetermined.

Cause undetermined
Controlled Flight Into Terrain (CFIT) - Ground

» ICAO Accident Digest Circular 107-AN/81 (247-254)


photo of Ilyushin-Il-18D-OK-WAI

This map shows the airport of departure and the intended destination of the flight. The line between the airports does not display the exact flight path.
Distance from Gander Airport, NL to Havana-José Martí International Airport as the crow flies is 3752 km (2345 miles).
Accident location: Approximate; accuracy within a few kilometers.

This information is not presented as the Flight Safety Foundation or the Aviation Safety Network’s opinion as to the cause of the accident. It is preliminary and is based on the facts as they are known at this time.
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Ilyushin Il-18

  • 569 built
  • 33rd loss
  • 20th fatal accident
  • 8th worst accident (at the time)
  • 26th worst accident (currently)
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  • 7th worst accident (at the time)
  • 11th worst accident (currently)
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