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Loftleidir

By Patrick Mondout

On November 15, 1978, an Loftleidir DC-8 carrying Muslim pilgrims home from Mecca crashed on approach to the Colombo-Bandaranayake airport, killing 202 of the 262 on board.

Accident investigators blamed the pilots for not monitoring their instruments more closely. The DC-8 descended to quick and the pilot did not initiate a missed approach before it was too late.

A photo of this aircraft from a year before it crashed is here.

Source: Newsweek, November 20, 1978, page 33.

Loftleidir at a Glance
AirlineLoftleidir
DateNovember 15, 1978
Registration NumberTF-FLA
Crew Fatalities9 of 13
Passenger Fatalities193 of 249
Total Fatalities202 of 262

Air Safety References:
Bartelski, Jan. Disasters in the Air: Mysterious Air Disasters Explained. Airlife Publishing: England, 2001.
Beaty, David. The Naked Pilot: The Human Factor in Aircraft Accidents. Airlife Publishing: England, 1996.
Cushing, Steven. Fatal Words: Communication Clashes and Aircraft Crashes University of Chicago Press: Chicago, 1997.
Faith, Nicholas. Black Box: The Air-Crash Detectives-Why Air Safety Is No Accident. Motorbooks International, 1997.
Gero, David. Aviation Disasters: The World's Major Civil Airliner Crashes Since 1950. Sutton, 2003.
Job, Macarthur. Air Disaster (Volume 1). Aerospace Publications: Fyshwick, Australia, 1995.
Job, Macarthur. Air Disaster (Volume 2). Aerospace Publications: Fyshwick, Australia, 1996.
Job, Macarthur. Air Disaster (Volume 3). Aerospace Publications: Fyshwick, Australia, 1999.
Krause, Shari Stamford. Aircraft Safety: Accident Investigations, Analyses & Applications. McGraw Hill, New York, 1996.
Macpherson, Malcolm. The Black Box : All-New Cockpit Voice Recorder Accounts Of In-flight Accidents. New York: William Morrow, 1998.
Macpherson, Malcolm. On a Wing and a Prayer: Interviews with Airline Disaster Survivors. Perennial, 2002.
Owen, David. Air Accident Investigation, 2nd Edition. Motorbooks International, 2002.
Stewart, Stanley. Emergency! - Crisis on the Flight Deck, 2nd Edition. Airlife Publishing, England, 2003.
Walters, James M. Aircraft Accident Analysis: Final Reports. McGraw-Hill Professional, 2000.
Wells, Alexander T. Commercial Aviation Safety, 3rd Edition. McGraw-Hill Professional, 2001.

 

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DISASTER DETAILS

Airline: Loftleidir

Location: Colombo-Bandaranaike Airport, Sri Lanka

Aircraft: Douglas DC-8-63CF

Date: November 15, 1978

Total Fatalities: 202 of 262



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