Uganda Airlines Flight 775

Uganda Airlines Flight 775 was a Boeing 707-338C, registration 5X-UBC, that crashed while attempting to land at Rome-Fiumicino Airport in Rome, Italy on 17 October 1988.[1] Thirty-three of the 52 occupants on board were killed.[2][3][4]

Uganda Airlines Flight 775
Uganda Airlines Boeing 707-300C 5X-UBC FCO Apr 1983.png
The aircraft involved in the accident is seen here at Fiumicino Airport in 1983.
Date17 October 1988 (1988-10-17)
SummaryPilot error
SiteRome-Fiumicino Airport, Rome, Italy
41°48′16″N 12°15′03″E / 41.8044°N 12.2508°E / 41.8044; 12.2508Coordinates: 41°48′16″N 12°15′03″E / 41.8044°N 12.2508°E / 41.8044; 12.2508
Aircraft typeBoeing 707-338C
OperatorUganda Airlines
Flight originLondon Gatwick Airport, London, United Kingdom
StopoverRome-Fiumicino Airport, Rome, Italy
DestinationEntebbe Airport, Entebbe, Uganda


Flight 775 took off from London-Gatwick bound for Entebbe with an intermediate stop in Rome. While descending into Rome, the flight crew was given clearance for an ILS approach to runway 16L. Due to poor visibility, a missed approach was carried out. A second approach was attempted to runway 25. This too had to be abandoned due to weather conditions. The crew requested radar vectoring to runway 34L. The aircraft was established on the localiser but descended through minimum safe altitude.[5] The aircraft impacted with some trees, then crashed, broke into pieces, and burst into flames approximately 0.8 kilometres (0.50 mi) short of the runway.[6][7][8][9]

One of the 19 survivors was a former Ugandan ambassador to the Vatican.[10]


The probable cause of the crash was determined to be:

"The crew's lack of adequate preparation in the procedure for a Non Precision Approach on runway 34L at Fiumicino Airport, especially in the matter of crew coordination and altitude callouts and their continued descent beyond MDA[5] without having located the runway visual markings."

The following factors may have contributed to the cause of the accident:

  • "Presumed mental and physical fatigue, accumulated by the crew during the two previous landing approaches, which were also carried out in an environmental situation that was extremely unfavourable and operationally demanding.;
  • A configuration of the Altitude Instruments, which although sufficient for the approaches that were carried out, consisted of a single radio altimeter with the acoustic warning of the MDA crossing inoperative;
  • The attention of the crew was excessively concentrated on the luminous sources along runway 34L, instead of on the instrument readings.[11]

Part of the Board of Inquiry as well as the representative of the Ugandan CA, disassociated themselves from the majority, during the phase of identifying the factors that may have contributed to causing the accident."[1]


  1. ^ a b Ranter, Harro. "ASN Aircraft accident Boeing 707-338C 5X-UBC Roma-Fiumicino Airport (FCO)". Aviation Safety Network. Retrieved 11 January 2019.
  2. ^ Polk, Peggy (17 October 1988). "A Uganda Airlines Boeing 707 jetliner crashed short of..." UPI. Retrieved 15 June 2020.
  3. ^ Sheridan, Mary Beth. "Uganda Airlines Jet Crashes In Fog While On Landing Approach". AP NEWS. Retrieved 15 June 2020.
  4. ^ "Uganda Airliner Crash In Italy Leaves 31 Dead". The New York Times. 18 October 1988. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 14 March 2021.
  5. ^ a b "Cos'è l'Altitudine Minima di Discesa - MDA e MDH" [What is the Minimum Descent Altitude - MDA and MDH]. Aviation Coaching (in Italian). 8 April 2017. Retrieved 15 June 2020.
  6. ^ "Uganda jetliner crashes in Rome; 29 feared dead". The Modesto Bee. Associated Press. 17 October 1988. Archived from the original on 19 July 2012. Retrieved 14 March 2021 – via Google News.
  7. ^ "UN ERRORE, LO SCHIANTO, IL ROGO..." [AN ERROR, THE CRASH, THE BURNING...]. La Repubblica (in Italian). La Repubblica. Retrieved 15 June 2020.
  8. ^ Lubega, Henry (27 October 2013). "Memories of 1988 Uganda Airlines plane crash in Italy". Daily Monitor. Retrieved 15 June 2020.
  9. ^ Montalbano, William D. (17 October 1988). "Jetliner Crashes at Rome Airport; at Least 28 Killed: More Than 20 Believed to Survive as Uganda 707 on Flight From London Falls Short of Runway in Fog". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 15 June 2020.
  10. ^ "Uganda jet crashed on third landing attempt". The Daytona Beach News-Journal. Retrieved 11 January 2019.
  11. ^ "Uganda Airlines Rome crash: What happened that day?". New Vision. Archived from the original on 16 June 2020. Retrieved 15 June 2020.

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