Date & Time: May 5, 1972 at 2224 LT
Type of aircraft:
Landing (descent or approach)
Scheduled Revenue Flight
Rome - Palermo
Crew on board:
Pax on board:
Following an uneventful flight from Rome-Fiumicino Airport, the crew started the approach to Palermo-Punta Raisi by night. The four engine airplane was too low and struck the slope of Mt Longa (600 meters high) located 7 km south of the airport, west of the village of Carini. It was determined that the aircraft struck the mountain just few meters below its summit and disintegrated on impact. All 115 occupants have been killed. At the time of the accident, the visibility was limited to 5 km with clouds down to 1,500 feet.
It was determined that the crew started the approach prematurely, causing the aircraft to descent below the minimum descent altitude. The lack of visibility caused by adverse weather conditions remains a contributing factor, as well as poor IFR operation on part of the crew. Also, it was reported that the crew failed to follow some of ATC instructions.