Top 10 Deadliest Aircraft Disasters of all time – Aviation accidents and incidents

Here is the list of Top 10 Deadliest Aircraft Disasters of all time – Aviation accidents and incidents


1) Two Boeing 747 collided with each other at Tenerife airport (583 fatalities)

on March 27, 1977, 583 people died when a KLM Boeing 747 attempted to take off without flight clearance and collided with a taxiing Pan Am 747 at Los Rodeos Airport on the Canary Island of Tenerife, Spain.

There were no survivors from the KLM aircraft. 61 of the 396 passengers and crew on the Pan Am aircraft survived.

Pilot error was the primary cause, as the KLM captain began his takeoff run without obtaining air traffic control clearance. A contributing factor was the dense fog.

2) Japan Airlines Boeing 747 crash (520 fatalities)

It is the single-aircraft disaster with the highest number of fatalities

Pilots were able to keep the plane flying for 32 minutes after the mechanical failure before crashing into a mountain. All 15 crew members and 505 of the 509 passengers on board died.

3) Charkhi Dadri mid-air collision involving Saudia Flight 763 and Kazakhstan Airlines Flight (349 fatalities)

On November 12, 1996, the world’s deadliest mid-air collision was the Charkhi Dadri mid-air collision involving Saudia Flight 763 and Kazakhstan Airlines Flight 1907 over Charkhi Dadri, India.

The collision was mainly the result of the Kazakh pilot flying lower than the assigned clearance altitude. All 349 passengers and crew on board both aircraft died.

4) Turkish Airlines McDonnell Douglas DC-10 crashed in a forest northeast of Paris (346 fatalities)

On March 3, 1974, Turkish Airlines Flight 981, a McDonnell Douglas DC-10, crashed in a forest northeast of Paris, France.

The London-bound plane crashed shortly after taking off from Orly airport; all 346 people on board died. It was later determined that the cargo door detached, which caused an explosive decompression; this caused the floor just above to collapse.

5) Air India Boeing 747-237B crashed due to the bomb explosion (329 fatalities)

On June 23, 1985, Air India Flight 182, a Boeing 747-237B crashed off the southwest coast of Ireland when a bomb exploded in the cargo hold. All 307 passengers and 22 crew members died.

One passenger had checked in as “M. Singh”. Singh did not board the flight. However, his suitcase containing the bomb was loaded onto the plane. “Mr Singh” was never identified or captured. It was later determined Sikh extremists were behind the bombing as a retaliation for the Indian government’s attack on the Golden Temple in the city of Amritsar, which is very important for the Sikhs.

6) Saudi Arabian Lockheed L-1011 aviation accident (301 fatalities)

On August 19, 1980, Saudi Arabian Airlines Flight 163, a Lockheed L-1011 became the world’s deadliest aviation accident that did not involve a crash.

The crew performed an emergency landing at Riyadh after a fire broke out in an aft baggage compartment. The fire burned through the ceiling of the compartment and into the passenger cabin. While the crew managed to land the plane safely, the captain did not stop immediately and order an evacuation. He taxied off the runway instead, by which time everyone in the cabin had become unconscious due to fumes and unable to open any doors or evacuate. All 301 passengers and crew died of suffocation before rescue ground crews could open any door, after which the aircraft burst into flames and was consumed by fire.

7) Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 shot down by Anti-Aircraft Missile (298 fatalities)

On July 17, 2014, Malaysia Airlines Flight 17, a Boeing 777-200ER, flying from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur with 298 people on board, was shot down in an area of Eastern Ukraine near the Ukraine/Russian border during an armed conflict between the Ukrainian army and pro-Russian separatists.

There were 283 passengers, including 3 infants, and 15 crew members on board MH17, all of whom perished.

8) Iran Air Airbus A300-200 shot down by  missiles from the U.S. Navy cruiser USS Vincennes (290 fatalities)

On July 3, 1988, Iran Air Flight 655, an Iranian Airbus A300-200 airliner, was shot down by two surface-to-air missiles from the U.S. Navy guided missile cruiser USS Vincennes over the Strait of Hormuz. All 290 passengers and crew aboard the aircraft died.

9) Iranian military Ilyushin Il-76 crash (275 fatalities)

On February 19, 2003, an Iranian military Ilyushin Il-76 crashed in mountainous terrain near Kerman in Iran. The official report says bad weather brought the aircraft down; high winds and fog were present at the time of the crash.

10) American Airlines McDonnell Douglas DC-10-10 crash (273 fatalities)

On May 25, 1979, American Airlines Flight 191, A McDonnell Douglas DC-10-10, crashed shortly after lifting off the runway at Chicago O’Hare Airport after the number one (left) engine and pylon separated from the wing.

This broke hydraulic lines, causing leading edge lift devices to retract on that side of the aircraft and resulted in the asymmetrical lift and loss of control.

Top 10 Deadliest Aircraft Disasters of all time - Aviation accidents and incidents


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