Alitalia Flight 404
Alitalia Flight 404, operated by a McDonnell Douglas DC-9-32 aircraft, crashed near Zürich Airport, Switzerland on November 14, 1990. The aircraft with forty-six people on board made a controlled flight into the mountain Stadlerberg, five mile track. All people on board were killed.
|Date||14 November 1990|
|Summary||Controlled flight into terrain due to NAV receiver failure and pilot error|
|Site||Stadlerberg Mountain, Weiach, Switzerland |
|Aircraft type||Douglas DC-9-32|
|Flight origin||Linate Airport, Milan, Italy|
|Destination||Zürich Airport, Zürich, Switzerland|
Investigation[change | change source]
A Swiss investigation concluded that the accident was caused by a short circuit. This caused the aircraft's NAV receiver to fail. The malfunction went unnoticed by the crew. They may believed they were on the correct flight path until the accident. Swiss authorities also blamed bad management of crew resources, exemplified when the captain vetoed the first officer's round trip attempt, along with the absence of lighting on Stadlerberg mountain and a known issue with misreading. of the aircraft drum pointer altimeter.
The final report from the Federal Board of Aircraft Accident Investigation called for several important changes and made further recommendations.
Fatal decision[change | change source]
The first officer had started a go-around but the captain stopped it. He said, "Hold the glide slope, can you hold it?". The first officer replied, "Yes". Investigators working with McDonnell Douglas concluded that, if the captain had not interrupted the go-around, the disaster would have been avoided. Investigators believe that the reason for the bad call was that the captain was completely dissatisfied with the first officer's performance during the flight. As a result, the captain showed a lack of trust in his first officer.
References[change | change source]
- "46 Die in Crash of Alitalia Plane In Mountainous Area Near Zurich". The New York Times. Reuters. 15 November 1990. ISSN 0362-4331.