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Accident description
Last updated: 29 November 2015
Date:Wednesday 14 November 1990
Type:Silhouette image of generic DC93 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
McDonnell Douglas DC-9-32
Registration: I-ATJA
C/n / msn: 47641/746
First flight: 1974
Total airframe hrs:43894
Engines: 2 Pratt & Whitney JT8D-9A
Crew:Fatalities: 6 / Occupants: 6
Passengers:Fatalities: 40 / Occupants: 40
Total:Fatalities: 46 / Occupants: 46
Airplane damage: Destroyed
Airplane fate: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Location:Stadlerberg (   Switzerland)
Crash site elevation: 506 m (1660 feet) amsl
Phase: Approach (APR)
Nature:International Scheduled Passenger
Departure airport:Milano-Linate Airport (LIN/LIML), Italy
Destination airport:Zürich-Kloten Airport (ZRH/LSZH), Switzerland
Alitalia Flight 404 took off from runway 36R at Linate Airport in Milan, Italy at 18:36. After an uneventful flight the, AZ404 was cleared to descend to 4000 feet and to make an ILS approach to runway 14 at Zürich-Kloten Airport, Switzerland. At 14 nm from the runway 14 threshold, the aircraft captured the localizer. At about 11,5 nm short, the aircraft descended through the cleared altitude of 4000 feet. Descent from 4000 feet was only allowed after intercepting the glide path at 8 nm. The aircraft descended about 1400 feet below the glide path until it struck trees and crashed at 5,2 nm from the runway.

PROBABLE CAUSE: "False indication of VHF NAV unit No.1 in the aircraft; probable altimeter misreading by the PIC; no GPWS warning in the cockpit; pilots not aware of the possibility of incorrect indications in the NAV equipment in use (without flag-alarm); inadequate failure analysis by the pilots; non-compliance with basic procedural instructions during the approach; COPI's initiated go-around procedure aborted by the PIC; the approach controller not observing the leaving of the cleared altitude of 4000ft QNH before the FAP."

Controlled Flight Into Terrain (CFIT) - Mountain

» Air Safety Week 5.4.1993 (p. 4,5)
» NTSB Safety Recommendations A-92-8 and 9


photo of McDonnell Douglas DC-9-32 I-ATJA
photo of McDonnell Douglas DC-9-32 I-ATJA
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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 Milano-Linate Airport to Zürich-Kloten Airport as the crow flies is 230 km (144 miles).

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