5 Deadliest Plane Crashes of All Time

Aircraft mishaps are not a new thing. We have put together the following list of the deadliest plane crashes of all time that have taken place throughout history. 

1. Tenerife Airport Disaster 1977 – Death Toll: 583

Survivors: 61; Deadliest Aircraft accident

Two Boeing 747 aircrafts – KLM and Pan Am collided on the runway of Tenerife airport. Both flights were headed to Gran Canaria Airport but due to a bomb explosion they were redirected to Tenerife, Canary islands. Due to miscommunication between the pilot and the control room at the airport the KLM flight tried to take off while Pan Am flight was still taxing on the runway and collided with it. There was heavy fog which made it impossible for both pilots as well as the control tower officials to see what was happening on the runway.


2. Japan Airlines Flight 123 1985 – Death Toll: 520

Survivors: 4; Deadliest single aircraft accident

This Japan Airlines flight was headed from Tokyo to Osaka, Japan. Before it crashed the Boeing 747SR-46 had completed more than 9400 successful flights. On the fateful day of its crash it developed technical failures within minutes of its takeoff and it hit a mountain, two ridges of Mount Takamagahara in Ueno within half an hour. The Japanese defence force rescuers could save only 4 people.

japan flight


3. Charkhi Dadri mid-air collision 1996 – Death Toll: 349

Survivors: 0; Deadliest mid-air collision in aviation history

Two air planes the Saudi Arabian Airlines Boeing 747-168B from Delhi to Dhahran and Jeddahthe Kazakhstan Airlines Ilyushin Il-76TD from Chimkent to Delhi. Both were using the same airway at different altitudes. They were being controlled by the same controller. To avoid an accident the Boeing was asked to raise its altitude and climb to 15000 feet but it failed to do so and reported as having climbed it. As a result the Ilyushin was given clearance and both the flights collided mid air. The Boeing was destroyed while spiralling down and the Ilyushin crashed into a field. All the passengers on board were killed.



4. Turkish Airlines Flight 981 – Death Toll: 346

Survivors: 0; Deadliest single-plane crash with no survivors

A  McDonnell Douglas DC-10 crashed in a forest outside Paris en route to Heathrow, London. The flight was overbooked that particular day due to employee strike by another airlines. On board were 17 rugby players, 6 British fashion models along with 48 Japanese bank management trainess. The crash happened because a cargo latch was broken resulting in decompression that broke cables making the pilots lose control of the flight. The cargo latches hadn’t been secured properly owing to manual negligence. After the accident stricter rules were put into place and the latches redesigned, taking out the manual procedure of latching them.



5. Saudia Flight 163 1980 – Death Toll: 301

Survivors: 0; Deadliest aviation disaster that did not involve a crash on impact or mid-flight break up

This flight was supposed to fly from Riyadh to Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. A few minutes after takeoff it was realized that there was fire in the engine of the Lockheed L-1011-200 TriStar. The pilot decided to return to the airport to ensure the safety of the passengers. The flight managed to land on the runway but it continued taxiing and exited the runway and stopped farther away from where the rescue team was stationed.  The rescue team did not take action for more than three minutes since the engines of the aircraft were still on. By the time they opened the doors, the passengers and the crew had died due to inhalation of smoke in the cabin.

Saudia Flight 163 – 1980


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