Indian Airlines Flight 491

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Flight IC-491
Indian Airlines Boeing 737-2A8; VT-EGE, December 1998 BUI (5404996252).jpg
An Indian Airlines Boeing 737-2A8 similar to the one involved.
Accident summary
Date 26 April 1993
Summary Pilot error
Site Aurangabad, Maharashtra, India
Passengers 112
Crew 6
Fatalities 55
Injuries (non-fatal) 63
Survivors 63
Aircraft type Boeing 737 2A8
Operator Indian Airlines

Indian Airlines Flight 491 was on its connecting route from Delhi to Bombay with en route stops at Jaipur, Udaipur and Aurangabad. The heavily laden aircraft started its takeoff from Aurangabad Airport's runway 09 in hot and humid temperatures.[1]

After lifting off almost at the end of the runway, it impacted heavily with a lorry on a highway at the end of the runway. The left main landing gear, left engine bottom cowling and thrust reverser impacted the left side of the truck at a height of nearly seven feet from the level of the road.[1] Thereafter the aircraft hit the high tension electric wires nearly 3 km northeast of the runway and hit the ground.

The probable cause of the crash was the "Pilots' error in initiating late rotation and following wrong rotation technique" and "failure of the NAA to regulate the mobile traffic on the highway during the flight hours".[1]

There was speculation that the truck was actually on the runway and not outside on the road, but was subsequently clarified in the Lok Sabha.[2]

Statement by the minister of civil aviation and tourism in Lok Sabha on the next day[edit]

The House is aware of the tragic accident to Indian Airlines flight IC-491 on 26th April, 1993 at Aurangabad

The aircraft, with 112 passengers and 6 crew members, had just taken off from Aurangabad for Bombay. Before it could gain enough height, its wheel gear hit a high-rise truck, loaded with cotton, passing on the road close to the runway outside the perimeter wall at the eastern end. The landing gear of the aircraft broke off under the impact and the aircraft swered to the left. Thereafter it hit a power transmission line and crashed in the field at a distance of about 7 km. from the airport. The aircraft broke into pieces and caught fire.

While 63 persons including the pilot, the co-pilot and 2 other members of the crew have survived, it is a matter for deep regret that 53 passengers and 2 members of the crew lost their lives. 12 of the surviving passengers, who had sustained injury, were admitted to the local hospital; 3 of them left the hospital after first aid and the rest are recovering.

I visited the crash site along with senior officials of the Ministry and Indian Airlines and met some of the surviving passengers, including those in the hospital. Chief Minister of Maharashtra had also come over from Bombay and the State Government took all possible rescue and relief measures.

Special information cells have been set up at Delhi, Udaipur, Jaipur, Aurangabad and Bombay to provide information to relatives of the passengers. Arrangements have also been made for members of the bereaved families of Bombay, Jaipur and Udaipur to be taken to Aurangabad.

Compensation for loss of life in the accident would be paid at the rate of Rs.5 lakhs for adults and rs.2.5 lakhs for children to the next of kin.

The available in formation and the situation primafacie, do not indicate any sabotage. However, Government have decided to institute a judicial inquiry which will reveal full facts and circumstances of the unfortunate accident. DGCA has commenced preliminary investigations.

The sorrow we feel on this sad occasion cannot be describe in words. I am sure Hon'ble Members will join me in sharing the grief of the kith and kin of those who lost their precious lives in this unfortunate incident.


See also[edit]


  2. ^ Crash of Indian Airlines Boeing 737 Aircraft near Aurangabad Airport on 26.4.1993 Indian Parliament Official Site 2 February 2016

Coordinates: 19°53′00″N 75°20′00″E / 19.8833°N 75.3333°E / 19.8833; 75.3333