Alitalia Flight 4128

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Alitalia Flight 4128
McDonnell Douglas DC-9-32, Alitalia AN0757660.jpg
An Alitalia McDonnell Douglas DC-9 similar to the one involved.
Accident summary
Date December 23, 1978
Summary Controlled flight into terrain, pilot error
Site Tyrrhenian Sea, off Palermo, Italy
38°12′28″N 13°06′32″E / 38.20778°N 13.10889°E / 38.20778; 13.10889Coordinates: 38°12′28″N 13°06′32″E / 38.20778°N 13.10889°E / 38.20778; 13.10889
Passengers 124
Crew 5
Fatalities 108[1]
Injuries (non-fatal) 21
Survivors 21
Aircraft type McDonnell Douglas DC-9-32
Aircraft name Isola di Stromboli
Operator Alitalia
Registration I-DIKQ

Alitalia Flight 4128 was a scheduled flight from Leonardo da Vinci Airport, in Rome, Italy, to Palermo International Airport in Palermo, Italy, with 129 on board. On December 23, 1978, it crashed into the Tyrrhenian Sea about 3 km (1.9 mi) north of Palermo while on approach. The accident was attributed to the flight deck crew believing they were nearer to the runway than they actually were, and therefore making a premature descent. The initial part of the approach was instrumental until the flight was 2 miles from Palermo International Airport. The crew then stopped the descent at 150 feet above the sea, as though trying to locate the final approach area, thinking they were close to the runway because of the airport lights. In the final nine seconds the aircraft flew almost level with the sea at 150 knots, then because of the wind, the aircraft lost its final altitude and impacted the water with its right wing. 21 passengers survived and were rescued by nearby fishing boats.


  1. ^ Accident description. Retrieved 10 December 2013.

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