Cubana de Aviación Flight 9646

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Cubana de Aviación Flight 9646
Cubana Il-62M CU-T1208 SXF 1990-8-18.png
A Cubana Il-62M similar to the one involved in the accident is seen here at Berlin Schönefeld Airport in 1990.
Accident summary
Date 3 September 1989
Summary Pilot error[1]
Site Havana, Cuba
Passengers 115
Crew 11
Fatalities 150 (24 on ground)
Injuries (non-fatal) 0
Survivors 0
Aircraft type Ilyushin Il-62M
Operator Cubana
Registration CU-T1281
Flight origin José Martí International Airport
Stopover Malpensa 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 HavanaMilanCologne passenger service and crashed on 3 September 1989, shortly after takeoff from José Martí International Airport, because of bad weather.[2] All 126 occupants of the aircraft plus 24 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).[2][4] The crew retracted the flaps from their initial 30° position to 15°, in an attempt to gain speed, but this action reduced the possibility of the aircraft to gain lift.[1] 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.[1][2][4] All 126 people on board —115 passengers, most of them Italian holidaymakers, and a crew of 11[4][5]— perished in the accident; another 24 people lost their lives on the ground.[2]


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.[6]


As of October 2013, the accident remains the deadliest one to occur on Cuban soil, followed by Aeroflot Flight 331.[7]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ According to Aviation Safety Network.[2] Another source informed the number of ground casualties to be 14.[3]


  1. ^ a b c "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. 
  2. ^ a b c d e Accident description at the Aviation Safety Network. Retrieved on 7 August 2012.
  3. ^ "Commercial Flight Safety – Fatal Accidents: Non-scheduled passenger flights". Flight International: 44. 23 January 1990. Archived from the original on 17 August 2012. Retrieved 17 August 2012. 
  4. ^ a b c "Il-62 crashes". Flight International: 4. 9 September 1989. Archived from the original on 7 August 2012. Retrieved 17 August 2012. 
  5. ^ "Jet With 54 on Board Missing in Brazil : Disappears Over Amazon; Toll in Cuban Crash May Reach 150". Los Angeles Times. Associated Press. 5 September 1989. It was carrying 113 Italians, two Cubans and a crew of 11, said the Cuban ambassador to Rome, Javier Ardizones.  Archived 22 March 2015 at the Wayback Machine.
  6. ^ Gero, David (1996). Aviation Disasters Second Edition. Patrick Stephens Limited. p. 212. 
  7. ^ "Accident record for Cuba". Aviation Safety Network. Retrieved 3 October 2013. 

External links[edit]