Indian Airlines Flight 440
|Date||31 May 1973|
|Summary||Controlled flight into terrain|
|Site||New Delhi, India|
|Aircraft type||Boeing 737-2A8|
|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.
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. 48 of the 65 passengers and crew on board Flight 440 perished in the accident. Rescue officials said the survivors were in the front of the aircraft.
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.
- Japan Airlines Flight 471, another aviation disaster that took place at Palam International Airport less than a year prior to Indian Airlines Flight 440.