VASP Flight 168

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VASP Flight 168
Boeing 727-2A1-Adv, VASP AN0486410.jpg
A VASP Boeing 727-2A1, similar to the one involved in the accident.
DateJune 8, 1982
SummaryPilot error leading to Controlled flight into terrain
SiteSerra da Aratanha,
near Pacatuba, Ceará, Brazil
Aircraft typeBoeing 727-212
Flight originCongonhas Airport
São Paulo, Brazil
StopoverGaleão International Airport
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
DestinationPinto Martins International Airport
Fortaleza, Brazil

VASP Flight 168, a Boeing 727-212, serial number 21347, registered PP-SRK, was a scheduled passenger flight from São Paulo to Fortaleza, Brazil, on June 8, 1982, which crashed into terrain while descending into Fortaleza, killing all 137 people on board.[1]

The crash of Flight 168 remains the third-highest death toll of any aviation accident in Brazil after Gol Transportes Aéreos Flight 1907 and TAM Airlines Flight 3054.

Flight history[edit]

Flight 168's first leg was from São Paulo, Brazil, to Rio de Janeiro, which was completed uneventfully. The flight then departed Rio de Janeiro on its way to Fortaleza. As the flight approached its destination, it was cleared to descend from its cruising altitude of flight level 330 – approximately 33,000 feet (10,000 m) mean sea level – to 5,000 feet (1,500 m). Flying at night, with the lights of the city of Fortaleza in front, the Boeing 727 descended through its 5,000-foot (1,500 m) clearance limit, and kept descending until it crashed into a mountainside at 2,500 feet (760 m), killing all 137 on board.[2][3] The dead included renowned Brasilain Industrialist Edson Queiroz.


Investigation revealed that the captain, possibly disoriented due to bright lights from the city ahead, continued the descent well below the 5,000 feet (1,500 m) clearance limit, despite being warned twice by the altitude alert system, as well as by the co-pilot, of the terrain ahead. As the Boeing kept descending, it struck a wooded mountainside at 2,500 feet (760 m) and crashed.

From the final cockpit voice recorder translated transcript:[4]

F/O = First Officer
CAPT = Captain

F/O: Can you see there are some hills in front?
CAPT: What? There's what?
F/O: Some hills, isn't there?
[Sound of altitude alert]

[Sound of impact]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Accident description at the Aviation Safety Network
  2. ^ "VASP 168 – O ÚLTIMO VÔO DO PP-SRK (VASP 168 – Last flight of PP-SRK)" (PDF) (in Portuguese). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2006-09-24. Retrieved 2006-10-03.
  3. ^ Germano da Silva, Carlos Ari César (2008). "VASP 168". O rastro da bruxa: história da aviação comercial brasileira no século XX através dos seus acidentes 1928–1996 (in Portuguese) (2 ed.). Porto Alegre: EDIPUCRS. pp. 318–326. ISBN 978-85-7430-760-2.
  4. ^ "Plane Crash Info accident record".

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 3°46′52″S 38°52′19″W / 3.78111°S 38.87194°W / -3.78111; -38.87194