VASP Flight 168

VASP Flight 168, a Boeing 727-212, serial number 21347, registered PP-SRK, was a scheduled passenger flight from São Paulo to Fortaleza, Brazil which, on June 8, 1982, crashed into terrain while descending into Fortaleza, killing all 137 people on board.[1]

VASP Flight 168
Boeing 727-2A1-Adv, VASP AN0486410.jpg
A VASP Boeing 727-2A1, similar to the one involved in the accident.
DateJune 8, 1982
SummaryControlled flight into terrain due to pilot error
SiteAratanha Mountains
near Pacatuba, CE, Brazil
Aircraft typeBoeing 727-212
IATA flight No.VP 168
ICAO flight No.VSP 168
Call signVASP 168
Flight originCongonhas Airport
São Paulo, Brazil
StopoverGaleão International Airport
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
DestinationPinto Martins International Airport
Fortaleza, Brazil

The crash of Flight 168 remains the third-highest death toll of any aviation accident in Brazil after Gol Transportes Aéreos Flight 1907 and TAM Airlines Flight 3054.[2]

Flight historyEdit

Flight 168's first leg was from São Paulo to Rio de Janeiro, which was completed uneventfully. The flight then departed Rio de Janeiro for Fortaleza. As the flight approached its destination, it was cleared to descend from its cruising altitude of flight level 330 – approximately 33,000 feet (10,000 m) mean sea level – to 5,000 feet (1,500 m). Flying at night, with the lights of the city of Fortaleza in front, the Boeing 727 descended through its 5,000-foot (1,500 m) clearance limit, and kept descending until it crashed into a mountainside at 2,500 feet (760 m), killing all 137 on board.[3][4] The dead included Brazilian industrialist Edson Queiroz.


Investigation revealed that the captain, possibly disoriented due to bright lights from the city ahead, continued the descent well below the 5,000 feet (1,500 m) clearance limit, despite being warned twice by the altitude alert system, as well as by the co-pilot, of the terrain ahead. As the Boeing kept descending, it struck a wooded mountainside at 2,500 feet (760 m) and crashed.

From the final cockpit voice recorder translated transcript:[5]

F/O = First Officer
CAPT = Captain

F/O: Can you see there are some hills in front?
CAPT: What? There's what?
F/O: Some hills, isn't there?
[Sound of altitude alert]

[Sound of impact]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Accident description at the Aviation Safety Network
  2. ^ Ranter, Harro. "Aviation Safety Network > ASN Aviation Safety Database > Geographical regions > Brazil air safety profile". Retrieved 2019-05-10.
  3. ^ "VASP 168 – O ÚLTIMO VÔO DO PP-SRK" [VASP 168 – Last flight of PP-SRK] (PDF) (in Portuguese). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2006-09-24. Retrieved 2006-10-03.
  4. ^ Germano da Silva, Carlos Ari César (2008). "VASP 168". O rastro da bruxa: história da aviação comercial brasileira no século XX através dos seus acidentes 1928–1996 [The witch trail: history of Brazilian commercial aviation in the 20th century through its accidents 1928-1996] (in Portuguese) (2 ed.). Porto Alegre: EDIPUCRS. pp. 318–326. ISBN 978-85-7430-760-2.
  5. ^ "Plane Crash Info accident record".

External linksEdit

Coordinates: 3°46′52″S 38°52′19″W / 3.78111°S 38.87194°W / -3.78111; -38.87194