UI Douglas DC-9-15 I-TIGI,
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Date:Friday 27 June 1980
Type:Silhouette image of generic DC91 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different    
Douglas DC-9-15
Owner/operator:Aerolinee Itavia
Registration: I-TIGI
MSN: 45724/22
Year of manufacture:1966
Total airframe hrs:29544 hours
Cycles:45032 flights
Engine model:Pratt & Whitney JT8D-7
Fatalities:Fatalities: 81 / Occupants: 81
Aircraft damage: Destroyed, written off
Location:25 km NE off Ustica, Italy [Tyrrhenian Sea] -   Mediterranean Sea
Phase: En route
Nature:Passenger - Scheduled
Departure airport:Bologna-Borgo Panigale Airport (BLQ/LIPE)
Destination airport:Palermo-Punta Raisi Airport (PMO/LICJ)
Confidence Rating: Information verified through data from accident investigation authorities
Itavia flight 870 departed Bologna (BLQ) at 20:08 on a domestic flight to Palermo (PMO). The DC-9 was en route over the Tyrrhenian Sea at an altitude of about 24000 feet when an explosion occurred. Extensive structural damage caused the plane to break up. Most of the wreckage sank to a depth of some 3500 metres.
The cause of the accident has never been officially established. In the years following the accident many theories were suggested. Some theories cantered around the fact that the DC-9 may have accidentally been shot down by NATO fighters. Either during an exercise involving Italian, U.S., and French jet fighters, or during a dog fight involving Libyan, U.S., French and Italian Air Force fighters in the area.
It has also been suggested that explosive device detonated in the rear (starboard) toilet.


Flight International 03 January 1981 (4)
ICAO Adrep 4/89 (#31)
Accident to Itavia DC-9 near Ustica, 27 June 1980- Wreckage and Impact Information & Analysis (ISASI Paper, 1994)
Analysis of radar data, suggesting side-lobe tracks instead of unidentified planes (in Italian, starting page 5)
Lessons from the Ustica investigations / A. Frank Taylor, Cranfield University (illustrated version)



photo (c) Oceaneering; off Ustica; 1980

photo (c) via Werner Fischdick; Basel (BSL); November 1972

Revision history:


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