Accident description
Last updated: 20 October 2014
Status:Final
Date:Sunday 19 October 1986
Time:21:21
Type:Tupolev 134A-3
Operator:República de Moçambique
Registration: C9-CAA
C/n / msn: 63457
First flight: 1980-10-14 (6 years )
Total airframe hrs:1105
Engines: 2 Soloviev D-30-III
Crew:Fatalities: 8 / Occupants: 9
Passengers:Fatalities: 26 / Occupants: 35
Total:Fatalities: 34 / Occupants: 44
Airplane damage: Damaged beyond repair
Location:near Komatipoort (   South Africa) show on map
Phase: Approach (APR)
Nature:Official state flight
Departure airport:Mbala Airport (MMQ), Zambia
Destination airport:Maputo International Airport (MPM/FQMA), Mozambique
Narrative:
The Tupolev 134 departed Mbala (MMQ), Zambia, for a flight back to Maputo (MPM). The flight carried Mozambique president Samora Machel who had attended a meeting of African leaders in Zambia. While approaching Maputo, an inadvertent selection of the MATSAPA VOR frequency caused the crew to execute a premature 37-degrees turn. Although the pilot queried the turn, no effort was made to verify it by using the available navigational aids. The aircraft descended below the 3000 feet limit in spite of not having visual contact with Maputo. The crew erroneously assumed a power failure at Maputo.
A 32-second GPWS warning was ignored and the aircraft collided with the ground at 2187 feet, bounced and crashed into an uphill slope. The aircraft broke up, slid across the South African/Swaziland border and caught fire. Machel, along with 33 other occupants did not survive the accident.


CAUSE: "The cause of the accident was that the flight crew failed to follow procedural requirements for an instrument let-down approach , but continued to descend under visual flight rules in darkness and some cloud, i.e. without having visual contact with the ground, below minimum safe altitude, and in addition the ignored GPWS alarm."

Classification:
Controlled Flight Into Terrain (CFIT) - Mountain

Sources:
» Flight International 22.11.1986 (14-15)
» Flight International 1.11.1986 (10)
» Report of the Board of Inquiry into the accident to Tupolev 134A-3 aircraft C9-CAA on 19th October 1986


Follow-up / safety actions

BoI SA issued 5 Safety Recommendations

Show all AD's and Safety Recommendations

Photos

photo of Tupolev 134A C9-CAA
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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 Mbala Airport to Maputo International Airport as the crow flies is 1894 km (1183 miles).

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Tupolev 134

  • 33rd loss
  • 725 built
  • 11th worst accident (at the time)
  • 19th worst accident (currently)
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 South Africa
  • worst accident
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