Indian Airlines Flight 440

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Indian Airlines Flight 440
Indian Airlines Boeing 737-2A8; VT-EGE, December 1998 BUI (5404996252).jpg
An Indian Airlines Boeing 737-200, similar to the one involved in the crash
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 minimal. 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] although one survivor reported sitting in the back row.[4]

The survivors included three Americans and two Japanese. The dead included four Americans, three people from the United Kingdom, and one woman from Yemen.[3] Among the dead was Indian Minister of Iron and Steel Mines, Mohan Kumaramangalam.


Investigators determined the cause of Indian Airlines Flight 440 crashing to be crew error in letting the aircraft descend below glidepath.[5]

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.


  1. ^ "ASN Aircraft accident Boeing 737-2A8 VT-EAM Delhi-Indira Gandhi International Airport (DEL )". Aviation Safety Network. Flight Safety Foundation. Retrieved 2016-05-31. 
  2. ^ "Airline crash in New Delhi." United Press International (UPI) at Lodi News-Sentinel. Friday June 1, 1973. p. 8 (Google News p. 5/16), Retrieved on October 28, 2014.
  3. ^ a b "Indian crash site probed by crews." Associated Press (AP) at the Spokane Daily Chronicle. Friday June 1, 1973. p. 11. Retrieved from Google News (63/72) on November 28, 2014.
  4. ^ "What not to do in a disaster". BBC. 
  5. ^ "AirDisaster.Com Accident Database". Archived from the original on 2015-03-21. Retrieved 2016-05-30. 

External links[edit]