Indian Airlines Flight 440

Indian Airlines Flight 440 was a flight on 31 May 1973 that crashed while on approach to Palam Airport killing 48 of the 65 passengers and crew on board.

Indian Airlines Flight 440
Indian Airlines Boeing 737-2A8; VT-EGE, December 1998 BUI (5404996252).jpg
An Indian Airlines Boeing 737-200, similar to the one involved in the crash
Date31 May 1973 (1973-05-31)
SummaryControlled flight into terrain
SiteNew Delhi, India
Aircraft typeBoeing 737-2A8
Aircraft nameSaranga
OperatorIndian Airlines
Flight originMadras Airport, Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India
DestinationPalam International Airport, New Delhi, India


Flight 440 was a scheduled domestic passenger flight from Madras (now Chennai), Tamil Nadu to New Delhi. A Boeing 737 named Saranga was used for the flight. As Flight 440 approached Palam International Airport in driving dust and a rainstorm, the aircraft struck high tension wires during a NDB approach with visibility below minimal. The aircraft crashed and caught fire.[1] 48 of the 65 passengers and crew on board Flight 440 perished in the accident.[2] Rescue officials said the survivors were in the front of the aircraft,[3] although one survivor reported sitting in the back row.[4]

The survivors included three Americans and two Japanese. The dead included four Americans, three people from the United Kingdom, and one woman from Yemen.[3] Among the dead was Indian Minister of Iron and Steel Mines, Mohan Kumaramangalam, Member of Parliament, Lok Sabha and Communist Party of India politician K. Baladhandayutham and former Member of Parliament, Rajya Sabha and Indian National Congress politician Devaki Gopidas and businessman Raghunath Kakani Reddy.


Investigators determined the Indian Airlines Flight 440 crash was caused by the crew descending below the minimum decision height.[5]

See alsoEdit

  • Japan Airlines Flight 471, another aviation disaster that took place at Palam International Airport less than a year prior to Indian Airlines Flight 440.


  1. ^ "ASN Aircraft accident Boeing 737-2A8 VT-EAM Delhi-Indira Gandhi International Airport (DEL )". Aviation Safety Network. Flight Safety Foundation. Retrieved 31 May 2016.
  2. ^ "Airline crash in New Delhi." United Press International (UPI) at Lodi News-Sentinel. Friday 1 June 1973. p. 8 (Google News p. 5/16), Retrieved on 28 October 2014.
  3. ^ a b "Indian crash site probed by crews." Associated Press (AP) at the Spokane Daily Chronicle. Friday 1 June 1973. p. 11. Retrieved from Google News (63/72) on 28 November 2014.
  4. ^ Gorvett, Zaria (12 July 2017). "What not to do in a disaster". BBC. Retrieved 4 October 2018.
  5. ^ "AirDisaster.Com Accident Database". Archived from the original on 21 March 2015. Retrieved 30 May 2016.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: unfit URL (link)

External linksEdit