Accident description
Last updated: 1 October 2014
Status:Final
Date:Wednesday 14 November 1990
Time:19:11
Type:Silhouette image of generic DC93 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
McDonnell Douglas DC-9-32
Operator:Alitalia
Registration: I-ATJA
C/n / msn: 47641/746
First flight: 1974
Total airframe hrs:43894
Cycles:43452
Engines: 2 Pratt & Whitney JT8D-9A
Crew:Fatalities: 6 / Occupants: 6
Passengers:Fatalities: 40 / Occupants: 40
Total:Fatalities: 46 / Occupants: 46
Airplane damage: Damaged beyond repair
Location:Stadlerberg (   Switzerland) show on map
Phase: Approach (APR)
Nature:International Scheduled Passenger
Departure airport:Milano-Linate Airport (LIN/LIML), Italy
Destination airport:Zürich-Kloten Airport (ZRH/LSZH), Switzerland
Flightnumber: 404
Narrative:
Flight 404 took off from Milan runway 36R at 18:36. After a problem free flight the flight was cleared to descend to 4000 feet and to make an ILS approach to runway 14. At 14nm from the runway 14 threshold, the aircraft captured the localizer and at about 11:5nm short, descended through the cleared altitude of 4000 feet, instead of leaving this altitude when intercepting the glide path at 8nm. The aircraft descended about 1400 feet below the glide path until it struck trees and crashed at 5,2nm 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."

Classification:
Controlled Flight Into Terrain (CFIT) - Mountain

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


Photos

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

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DC-9-30

  • 42nd loss
  • 662 built
  • 14th worst accident (at the time)
  • 18th worst accident (currently)
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 Switzerland
  • 4th worst accident
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