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.
Date June 8, 1982
Summary Pilot error leading to Controlled flight into terrain
Site Serra da Aratanha,
near Pacatuba, Ceará, Brazil
Aircraft type Boeing 727-212
Operator VASP
Registration PP-SRK
Flight origin Congonhas Airport
São Paulo, Brazil
Stopover Galeão International Airport
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Destination Pinto Martins International Airport
Fortaleza, Brazil
Passengers 128
Crew 9
Fatalities 137
Survivors 0

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

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 (10,059 m) mean sea level – to 5,000 feet (1,524 m). Flying at night, with the lights of the city of Fortaleza in front, the Boeing 727 descended through its 5,000 feet (1,524 m) clearance limit, and kept descending until it crashed into a mountainside at 2,500 feet (762 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-foot (1,524-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 (762 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?
[Sound of altitude alert]
CAPT: What? There's what?
F/O: Some hills, isn't there?

[Sound of impact]

See also


  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

  • Boeing 727-212A PP-SRK pre-crash photo plus article (in Portuguese) – a very detailed analysis and description of the accident plus many photos
  • photos of the crash site

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

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