Accident Boeing 737-2V2 HC-BIG, Monday 11 July 1983
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Date:Monday 11 July 1983
Type:Silhouette image of generic B732 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different    
Boeing 737-2V2
Owner/operator:TAME Ecuador
Registration: HC-BIG
MSN: 22607/775
Year of manufacture:1981
Engine model:Pratt & Whitney JT8D-17
Fatalities:Fatalities: 119 / Occupants: 119
Other fatalities:0
Aircraft damage: Destroyed, written off
Location:1,5 km from Cuenca -   Ecuador
Phase: Approach
Nature:Passenger - Scheduled
Departure airport:Quito-Mariscal Sucre Airport (UIO/SEQU)
Destination airport:Cuenca Airport (CUE/SECU)
TAME Ecuador flight 173, a Boeing 737-200, struck a hillside and crashed near Cuenca Airport (CUE), Ecuador. All 119 on board were killed.
The aircraft was approaching Cuenca in clear weather with patches of ground fog near the airport. The controller cleared the flight for an instrument approach to runway 23. The flight crew, however, decided to perform a direct visual approach. After crossing the El Tablon VOR they had the runway in sight and continued the approach. From then on the GPWS began to sound: 'Terrain, Terrain, Pull up!'. The pilots did not respond to these warnings and continued the approach. Meanwhile, the first officer suggested to select flaps to 40 degrees and descend to 8700 feet, which was below the minimum altitude of 9500 feet.
The aircraft descended rapidly at about 1500 ft/min. During the descent the aircraft entered clouds. The flight crew likely focused on obtaining visual contact with the ground, without paying attention to the altitude.
The aircraft descended until it impacted terrain at 8548 feet.

when it struck a ridge with its tail and crashed into a hilly area about 1 mile short of the runway.


Aviation Disasters / D. Gero
El Universo, 18 Aug. 1983 p.17


  • 4th worst accident in 1983
  • 7th worst accident of this aircraft type
  • worst accident of this aircraft type at the time



photo (c) anon.; near Cuenca; July 1983

photo (c) anon.; near Cuenca; July 1983

photo (c) Clint Groves; Seattle-Boeing Field International Airport, WA (BFI/KBFI); May 1981

Revision history:


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