ASN Aircraft accident Boeing 707-327C PP-VLJ Rio de Janeiro-Galeão International Airport, RJ (GIG)
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Status:Accident investigation report completed and information captured
Date:Saturday 9 June 1973
Type:Silhouette image of generic B703 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Boeing 707-327C
Registration: PP-VLJ
MSN: 19106/502
First flight: 1966
Engines: 4 Pratt & Whitney JT3D-3B
Crew:Fatalities: 2 / Occupants: 4
Passengers:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 0
Total:Fatalities: 2 / Occupants: 4
Aircraft damage: Damaged beyond repair
Location:off Rio de Janeiro-Galeão International Airport, RJ (GIG) (   Brazil)
Phase: Approach (APR)
Departure airport:São Paulo/Campinas-Viracopos International Airport, SP (VCP/SBKP), Brazil
Destination airport:Rio de Janeiro-Galeão International Airport, RJ (GIG/SBGL), Brazil
The Boeing 707 freighter was making an instrument approach to runway 14 with speed brake lever at 45deg. and inboard spoilers deactivated when it was noted that the spoiler switch cover was open. The captain or co-pilot then closed the spoiler switch cover and thus activating the inboard spoiler, causing the aircraft to pitch down. The Boeing descended fast from a height of 70 m, struck approach lights and crashed in the water of Guanabara Bay.

Probable Cause:

Probable cause: Incorrect use of speedbrake on final approach.

Accident investigation:

Investigating agency: CENIPA Brazil
Status: Investigation completed
Duration: 101 days (3 months)
Accident number: final report
Download report: Final report

Loss of control


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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 São Paulo/Campinas-Viracopos International Airport, SP to Rio de Janeiro-Galeão International Airport, RJ as the crow flies is 398 km (249 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 707

  • 858 built
  • 42nd loss
  • 30th fatal accident
  • 28th worst accident (at the time)
  • 69th worst accident (currently)
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