History’s Worst Aviation Disasters

From Associated Press

Here is a list of the worst commercial aviation disasters worldwide:

March 27, 1977--582 killed in a collision of two Boeing 747s operated by Pan American and KLM at the airport on Tenerife in Spain’s Canary Islands.

Aug. 12, 1985--520 killed when a Japan Air Lines Boeing 747 crashed into a mountain on a domestic flight.

March 3, 1974--346 killed when a Turkish DC-10 crashed 26 miles northeast of Paris.


June 23, 1985--329 killed when an Air-India Boeing 747 crashed off the coast of Ireland.

Aug. 19, 1980--301 killed in a fiery emergency landing of a Saudi Arabian L-1011 jet at the airport in the Saudi capital of Riyadh.

May 25, 1979--273 killed when an American Airlines DC-10 crashed on takeoff in Chicago.

Sept. 1, 1983--269 killed when a Korean Air Lines 747 was shot down by a Soviet fighter after flying through Soviet airspace near Sakhalin Island.


Nov. 28, 1979--257 killed when an Air New Zealand DC-10 taking tourists to the South Pole struck a mountain in Antarctica.

Dec. 12, 1985--256 killed when a chartered Arrow Air DC-8 carrying members of the 101st Airborne Division crashed on takeoff at Gander, Canada.

Jan. 1, 1978--213 killed when an Air-India 747 en route to the Middle East emirate of Dubai crashed less than two minutes after taking off from Bombay.

Dec. 4, 1974--191 killed when a chartered Dutch DC-8 returning Indonesian Muslims from Saudi Arabia went down in Sri Lanka.


Aug. 3, 1975--188 killed when a chartered Moroccan Boeing 707 crashed near Agadir, Morocco.

Nov. 15, 1978--183 killed when a chartered Icelandic Airlines DC-8 crashed short of an airport in Colombo, Sri Lanka. On Nov. 27, 1983, 183 people were killed when an Avianca Boeing 747 crashed near Madrid’s Barajas airport.

Dec. 1, 1981--180 killed when a chartered Yugoslav Inex-Adria Airways DC-9 slammed into a fog-shrouded mountain near Ajaccio, Corsica.

Three separate crashes each killed 176 people: a Soviet Aeroflot crash near Moscow in October, 1972; the collision of a British Airways Trident and a Yugoslav DC-9 near Zagreb, Yugoslavia, in September, 1976, and the crash of a Jordanian Boeing 707 at Nigeria’s Kano airport in January, 1973.