Cubana de Aviación Flight 9646
|Date||3 September 1989|
|Fatalities||171 (45 on ground)|
|Aircraft type||Ilyushin Il-62M|
|Flight origin||José Martí International Airport|
|Destination||Cologne Bonn Airport|
Cubana de Aviación Flight 9646 refers to a chartered Ilyushin Il-62M, registered CU-T1281 and operated by Cubana, that was due to operate a non-scheduled international Havana–Milan–Cologne passenger service and crashed on 3 September 1989, shortly after takeoff from José Martí International Airport, because of bad weather. All 126 occupants of the aircraft plus 45 people on the ground perished in the accident.[nb 1]
The aircraft took off in heavy rain and winds gusting to in the vicinity of 30–50 miles per hour (48–80 km/h). The crew retracted the flaps from their initial 30º position to 15º, in an attempt to gain speed, but this action reduced the possibility of the aircraft to gain lift. The plane climbed to about 53 metres (174 ft), where it was hit by downdraft currents that caused the airframe to strike the end of the runway, subsequently hitting a navigational facility and a small hill before crashing into a residential area, about a minute after takeoff. All 126 people on board —115 passengers, most of them Italian holidaymakers, and a crew of 11— perished in the accident; another 45 people lost their lives on the ground.
Investigators attributed the crash of Flight 9646 to the pilot's decision to fly after an abrupt deterioration in the meteorological conditions. The pilot underestimated the risks of taking off at the same time misjudging the aircraft's performance in poor weather conditions.
- "Cubana Il-62 crash report cites pilot error as cause". Flight International: 17. 23 September 1989. Archived from the original on 7 August 2012. Retrieved 17 August 2012.
- Accident description at the Aviation Safety Network. Retrieved on 7 August 2012.
- "Commercial Flight Safety – Fatal Accidents: Non-scheduled passenger flights". Flight International: 44. 17 January 1990 – 23 January 1990. Archived from the original on 17 August 2012. Retrieved 17 August 2012.
- "Il-62 crashes". Flight International: 4. 9 September 1989. Archived from the original on 7 August 2012. Retrieved 17 August 2012.
- Gero, David (1996). Aviation Disasters Second Edition. Patrick Stephens Limited. p. 212.
- "Accident record for Cuba". Aviation Safety Network. Retrieved 3 October 2013.
- Accident history for Havana José Martí International Airport at Aviation Safety Network
- "Cuban Jetliner With 124 Aboard Crashes". The New York Times. Associated Press. 4 September 1989. Archived from the original on 7 August 2012. Retrieved 7 August 2012.