Thai Airways International Flight 261
HS-TIC, sister-ship to the accident aircraft
|Date||December 11, 1998|
|Summary||Probable spatial disorientation in stormy weather|
|Site||ca 4 km (2.5 mi) SW of Surat Thani Airport (URT) (Thailand)|
|Aircraft type||Airbus A310-204|
|Operator||Thai Airways International|
|Flight origin||Bangkok-Don Muang International Airport (BKK/VTBD)|
|Destination||Surat Thani Airport (URT/VTSB)|
Thai Airways International Flight 261 was a scheduled passenger flight from Bangkok, Thailand to Surat Thani, Thailand. On 11 December 1998, the ill-fated flight was being operated with an Airbus Airbus A310-204, registration HS-TIA.
Thai Flight 261 carrying 146 people on board took off from Don Mueang International Airport at 11:40 UST on a two hour flight to Surat Thani. When the aircraft began to descend to Surat Thani Airport, the weather was bad with heavy rain and poor visibility, and the pilot executed a missed approach two times. On a third attempt to land, the aircraft stalled and crashed two miles southwest of the airport, killing 101 people(including both pilots) and injuring 45 people. 90 passengers and 11 crew members died. Probable cause of the crash was determined to be "spatial disorientation when the nose pitched up sharply during a night time approach in stormy weather".
HS-TIA was an Airbus A310-204, c/n 415, previously registered as F-WWBI for flight testing with Airbus. Given the name Phitsanulok, HS-TIA was first flown on 3 March 1986 and delivered to Thai Airways Co. Ltd [Don Mueang] on 29 April 1986.