ASN Aircraft accident Vickers 785D Viscount HC-ARS Chimborazo Volcano
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Date:Sunday 15 August 1976
Type:Silhouette image of generic VISC model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Vickers 785D Viscount
Registration: HC-ARS
MSN: 377
First flight: 1958
Crew:Fatalities: 4 / Occupants: 4
Passengers:Fatalities: 55 / Occupants: 55
Total:Fatalities: 59 / Occupants: 59
Aircraft damage: Damaged beyond repair
Location:Chimborazo Volcano (   Ecuador)
Phase: En route (ENR)
Nature:Domestic Scheduled Passenger
Departure airport:Quito-Mariscal Sucre Airport (UIO/SEQU), Ecuador
Destination airport:Cuenca Airport (CUE/SECU), Ecuador
Flightnumber: 232
A Vickers 785D Viscount, operated by SAETA, was destroyed when it impacted the side of a volcano in Ecuador. All 59 on board were killed.
Flight 232 departed Quito-Mariscal Sucre Airport, Ecuador at 08:06 hours on a domestic service to Cuenca Airport. Last radio contact with the flight was at 08:27 when the crew reported over Ambato at 18000 feet.
The aircraft failed to arrive at Cuenca. Despite an intesive search operation, the wreckage was not found.

However, on October 17, 2002 climbers attempting to reach the top of the 20,700-foot Chimborazo Volcano, came across aircraft debris. Further investigation by officials in February 2003 confirmed that the wreckage was indeed SAETA flight 232.

Controlled Flight Into Terrain (CFIT) - Mountain

» Military teams climb volcano for 1976 plane crash (CNN, 18-2-2003)
» Aviation News 17.09.1976
» Ellensburg Daily Record - Sep 13, 1976


photo of Vickers-785D-Viscount-HC-ARS
accident date: 15-08-1976
type: Vickers 785D Viscount
registration: HC-ARS
photo of Vickers-785D-Viscount-HC-ARS
accident date: 15-08-1976
type: Vickers 785D Viscount
registration: HC-ARS

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 Quito-Mariscal Sucre Airport to Cuenca Airport as the crow flies is 309 km (193 miles).
Accident location: Approximate; accuracy within a few kilometers.

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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Vickers Viscount

  • 445 built
  • 108th loss
  • 54th fatal accident
  • 5th worst accident (at the time)
  • 6th worst accident (currently)
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  • The worst accident (at the time)
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