Accident description
Last updated: 28 November 2014
Status:
Date:Tuesday 1 January 1985
Time:ca 20:30
Type:Silhouette image of generic B722 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Boeing 727-225
Operator:Eastern Air Lines
Registration: N819EA
C/n / msn: 22556/1793
First flight: 1982-03-12 (2 years 10 months)
Engines: 3 Pratt & Whitney JT8D-17AR
Crew:Fatalities: 10 / Occupants: 10
Passengers:Fatalities: 19 / Occupants: 19
Total:Fatalities: 29 / Occupants: 29
Airplane damage: Damaged beyond repair
Location:Nevado Illimani (   Bolivia) show on map
Phase: En route (ENR)
Nature:International Scheduled Passenger
Departure airport:Asunción-Silvio Pettirossi International Airport (ASU/SGAS), Paraguay
Destination airport:La Paz-El Alto Airport (LPB/SLLP), Bolivia
Flightnumber: 980
Narrative:
Eastern flight 980 was a scheduled flight from Ascuncion (ASU), Paraguay to La Paz (LPB), Bolivia.
The aircraft had reported crossing the DAKON intersection, 55 NM southeast of La Paz, at 25,000 ft. MSL. They were then cleared by La Paz ATC to descend to 18,000 feet, and the crew acknowledged this clearance. Although the Boeing 727 was supposed to be approaching La Paz along airway UA 320, on a 134° radial from the La Paz VOR, it veered significantly off course beyond DAKON; perhaps because the crew were maneuvering to avoid weather in the vicinity. The aircraft impacted the 19,600-ft. level of Mt. Illimani, a 21,000-ft. Andean peak, approximately 26 NM from the La Paz VOR/DME and 25 NM from La Paz runway 09R. Dark night, weather, and lack of visual references in the area all contributed to the crew’s inability to see and avoid the high terrain in their path.


Sources:
» Investigation of Controlled Flight into Terrain : Descriptions of Flight Paths for Selected Controlled Flight into Terrain (CFIT) Aircraft Accidents, 1985-1997 / Robert O. Phillips, U.S. DoT (DOT-TSC-FA9D1-99-01)
» Jet-Airliner Unfälle seit 1952 / J. Richter, Chr. Wolf


Photos

photo of Boeing 727-225 N819EA
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Map
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 Asunción-Silvio Pettirossi International Airport to La Paz-El Alto Airport as the crow flies is 1467 km (917 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 727

  • 45th loss
  • 1832 built
  • 27th worst accident (at the time)
  • 42nd worst accident (currently)
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 Bolivia
  • 6th worst accident
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