Accident Boeing 727-212 PP-SRK, Tuesday 8 June 1982
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Date:Tuesday 8 June 1982
Type:Silhouette image of generic B722 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different    
Boeing 727-212
Owner/operator:VASP - Viação Aérea São Paulo
Registration: PP-SRK
MSN: 21347/1282
Year of manufacture:1977
Engine model:Pratt & Whitney JT8D-17
Fatalities:Fatalities: 137 / Occupants: 137
Other fatalities:0
Aircraft damage: Destroyed, written off
Location:Serra de Pacatuba, CE -   Brazil
Phase: Approach
Nature:Passenger - Scheduled
Departure airport:Rio de Janeiro-Galeão International Airport, RJ (GIG/SBGL)
Destination airport:Fortaleza-Pinto Martins Airport, CE (FOR/SBFZ)
Investigating agency: CENIPA
Confidence Rating: Accident investigation report completed and information captured
VASP Flight 168 departed São Paulo for a flight to Fortaleza, with an intermediate stop at Rio de Janeiro (GIG). The first leg of the flight was uneventful. As the flight approached Fortaleza, the crew were cleared to descend from their cruising altitude of FL330 to FL50 (5000 feet). In night-time conditions with the bright lights of the city in front, the captain descended below 5000 feet. Despite two altitude alert system warnings and the co-pilot's warning of the mountains ahead, the captain continued to descend below the minimum descend altitude. The Boeing then struck a wooded mountainside at 1950 feet.

Human Factor:
It contributed to the extent that during the descent the Commander concentrated his attention on the illuminated city, disconnecting himself from other sensory impulses, such as observation of distance and altitude.
Material Factor: Did not contribute.
Operational Factor:
Contributed for the reasons below:
- Poor planning for the descent.
- Non-observance of air traffic rules (non-compliance with control instructions, non-observance of the minimum safety altitude and non-maintenance of the speed foreseen for terminal flight below 10,000 feet). Therefore, serious flight indiscipline.
- lack of cabin discipline.
- Non-compliance with company operating standards.

Accident investigation:
Investigating agency: CENIPA
Report number: final report
Status: Investigation completed
Duration: 1 month
Download report: Final report




  • 2nd worst accident in 1982
  • 10th worst accident of this aircraft type
  • 4th worst accident of this aircraft type at the time



photo (c) Helio Bastos Salmon; São Paulo-Congonhas Airport, SP (CGH/SBSP); 1981

Revision history:

22-Mar-2024 14:48 ASN Updated [Source, Accident report]

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