13 October 1972

Aeroflot Flight 217 crashes outside Moscow, killing 174.

Aeroflot Flight 217
Ilyushin Il-62, Aeroflot AN0723959.jpg
An Aeroflot Ilyushin Il-62, similar to the crashed aircraft
Date13 October 1972 (1972-10-13)
SummaryUndetermined (possible crew incapacitation, lightning strike, or mechanical failure)
SiteNear Sheremetyevo International Airport
Aircraft typeIlyushin Il-62
Flight originOrly Airport
StopoverShosseynaya Airport
DestinationSheremetyevo International Airport

Aeroflot Flight 217 was a non-scheduled international passenger flight from Orly Airport in Paris to Sheremetyevo International Airport in Moscow, with a stopover at Shosseynaya Airport (now Pulkovo Airport) in Leningrad (now Saint Petersburg). On 13 October 1972, the Ilyushin Il-62 airliner operating the flight crashed on approach to Sheremetyevo, with the loss of all 164 passengers and crew of 10. The fatalities include 118 Russians, 38 Chileans, 6 Algerians, one East German and one Australian.[1] At the time, it was the world's deadliest aviation disaster, until it was surpassed by the Kano air disaster in 1973.[2] As of 2020, the accident remains the second-deadliest one involving an Il-62, after LOT Flight 5055, and the second-deadliest on Russian soil, after Aeroflot Flight 3352.[3][4][5]


Shortly before the expected landing, the plane was flying at the altitude of 1200 m and received the ATC instructions to descend to 400 m. The crew confirmed and started to descend, but later there was no action to return to the horizontal flight. The plane passed the 400 m mark with 20 m/s vertical velocity, no expected report to ATC and engines still running at low thrust. It crashed shortly afterwards, with landing gear up, spoilers retracted and horizontal speed about 620 km/h.[6]


The cause of the crash could not be determined. Investigators did believe the most probable cause was the 'psycho-physiological incapacitation of the crew for reasons unknown'.[7] Somewhere at the 500 – 600 m. elevation, 30 – 25 seconds before impact, the pilots either have been incapacitated or lost control of the plane.[6]

See also


  1. ^ [1]
  2. ^ Leddington, Roger (16 October 1972). "Death toll at 176 in Russian crash". Nashua Telegraph. Retrieved 3 August 2012.
  3. ^ Ranter, Harro. "ASN Aircraft accident Ilyushin 62 CCCP-86671 Moskva-Sheremetyevo Airport (SVO)". aviation-safety.net. Retrieved 13 April 2017.
  4. ^ Ranter, Harro. "ASN Aircraft accident Ilyushin 62M SP-LBG Warszawa-Okecie Airport (WAW)". aviation-safety.net. Retrieved 13 April 2017.
  5. ^ Ranter, Harro. "ASN Aircraft accident Tupolev 154B-1 CCCP-85243 Omsk Airport (OMS)". aviation-safety.net. Retrieved 13 April 2017.
  6. ^ a b Катастрофа Ил-62 ЦУМВС в районе озера Нерское (борт СССР-86671), 13 октября 1972. airdisaster.ru (in Russian). Retrieved 26 August 2012.
  7. ^ Gero, David (1996). Aviation Disasters Second Edition. Patrick Stephens Limited. p. 110.

External links

Coordinates: 56°4′50″N 37°24′36″E / 56.08056°N 37.41000°E / 56.08056; 37.41000