Indian Airlines Flight 440

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Indian Airlines Flight 440
Accident summary
Date 31 May 1973
Summary Controlled flight into terrain
Site New Delhi, India
Passengers 58
Crew 7
Fatalities 48
Survivors 17
Aircraft type Boeing 737-2A8
Aircraft name Saranga
Operator Indian Airlines
Registration VT-EAM
Flight origin Madras Airport, Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India
Destination Palam International Airport, New Delhi, India

Indian Airlines Flight 440 was a flight on 31 May 1973 that crashed while on approach to Palam Airport killing 48 of the 65 passengers and crew on board.

The crash[edit]

Flight 440 was a scheduled domestic passenger flight from Madras (now Chennai), Tamil Nadu to New Delhi. A Boeing 737 named Saranga was used for the flight. As Flight 440 approached Palam International Airport in driving dust and a rainstorm, the aircraft struck high tension wires during a NDB approach with visibility below minima. The aircraft crashed and caught fire.[1] 48 of the 65 passengers and crew on board Flight 440 perished in the accident.[2] Rescue officials said the survivors were in the front of the aircraft.[3]

Among the dead was Indian Minister of Iron and Steel Mines, Mohan Kumaramangalam. Kumaramangalam was a confidant of Indira Gandhi, who was India's Prime Minister at the time. According to Mehtab-Ud-Din, a Pubjabi journalist, Bhan Singh Bhaura was also on the flight, but survived. Mr. Singh Bhaura was then an MP from Bathinda (Punjab) for 5th Lok Sabha (1971–1977).


Investigators determined the cause of Indian Airlines Flight 440 crashing to be crew error in letting the aircraft descend below glidepath.[4]

See also[edit]

  • Japan Airlines Flight 471, another aviation disaster that took place at Palam International Airport less than a year prior to Indian Airlines Flight 440.


External links[edit]