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Last updated: 29 May 2016
Fecha:domingo 1 enero 1978
Tipo:Silhouette image of generic B742 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Boeing 747-237B
Registración: VT-EBD
Numéro de série: 19959/124
Año de Construcción: 1971-03-08 (6 years 10 months)
Motores: 4 Pratt & Whitney JT9D-7J
Tripulación:Fatalidades: 23 / Ocupantes: 23
Pasajeros:Fatalidades: 190 / Ocupantes: 190
Total:Fatalidades: 213 / Ocupantes: 213
Daños en la Aeronave: Destruido
Consecuencias: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Ubicación:3 km (1.9 milles) W de la costa de Bombay-Santacruz Airport (BOM) (   India)
Fase: En ruta (ENR)
Naturaleza:Vuelo Internacional Programado
Aeropuerto de Salida:Bombay-Santacruz Airport (BOM/VABB), India
Aeropuerto de Llegada:Dubai Airport (DXB/OMDB), Emiratos Árabes Unidos
Número de Vuelo:AI855
New year's day 1978. It's 20:40 when Air-India flight 855 departs Mumbai Airport's runway 27 for a flight to Dubai. The Boeing 747-200, named "Emperor Ashoka", was cleared to climb to 8000 feet and report leaving 2400 feet. Approx. one minute after takeoff the plane enters a gentle right turn heading for the Arabian Sea. The Attitude Director Indicator (ADI) however remained in a right-bank indication, while the wings were already level. The captain then said: "What's happened here, my instrument...". The co-pilot didn't note the captain's concern and replied: "Mine has also toppled, look's fine." The flight engineer however noticed the difference between the captain's ADI and the third spare ADI. Because it was dark outside and the aircraft was over the Arabian Sea, there was no visual contact with the horizon. The captain continued to roll to the left because, looking at his ADI, he still thinks the plane is in a right bank. As the airplane rolled through 40 degrees left, the flight engineer indicated to the captain: "Don't go by that one, don't go by that one...". The plane however continued to roll to the left, to 108 degrees left bank. The 747 started to descend from approx. 2000 feet altitude until it crashed into shallow (10 m deep) water, 3 km offshore in an approx. 35-40deg nose down pitch.

PROBABLE CAUSE: "The probable cause of this accident was due to the irrational control inputs by the captain following complete unawareness of the attitude as his ADI had malfunctioned. The crew failed to gain control based on the other flight instruments."

» Aviation Disasters / D. Gero
» ICAO FILE NO. 78/1-0
» Jet-Airliner Unfälle seit 1952 / J. Richter, Chr. Wolf


photo of Boeing 747-237B VT-EBD
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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 Bombay-Santacruz Airport to Dubai Airport as the crow flies is 1915 km (1197 miles).

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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Boeing 747

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