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Aviacion Cubana

The Cuban Civil Aviation: Accidents and terrorism

Rubén Urribarres





Before the 1959 year
Feb. 6, 1947 Douglas C-54B-15-DO
N44567 called "Route of Colon" (N18386, built in 1944), of Aerovias Cuba International.  Crash in Pedro Barnados, Spain, in route Lisbon-Madrid, with a balance of 11 dead persons (8 crews and 3 passengers) 

Jul. 10, 1948 Curtiss C-46D-15-CU
CU-P198 (N33534, built in 1945) of Expreso Aereo Interamericano. Crash when landing in Maiquetia-La Gloria, Venezuela. Carried two crews, but nobody die.

At left: Tu-154M crashed in Equator, 1998

Nov. 11, 1950  Douglas DC-3
CU-T7 (N° 11646) of Cubana, in Holguin, crash in dense fog, without mortal victims. 

Apr. 26, 1951  Douglas DC-4
CU-T188 "Estrella de Cuba" ("Star of Cuba", N10368) of Cubana, collisioned by an  Beechcraft aircraft of the US NAVY near Key West, Florida, that practicing to fly by instruments.  48 persons died, among them the Capitan Javier Zayas-Bazan. Is considered that that was a error of the Control Tower of Boca Chica, Fl., giving a wrong height to the american aircraft. The four crew of the Beech die too. 

Dec. 6, 1952  Douglas DC-4
CU-T397 "Estrella de Oriente" ("Star of East", N10319), of Cubana, in Bermudas.  Crash at 5 km from the airport after take off, in a flight Madrid- Havana, with scale in Bermuda. All the 37 persons dead, including the Capitan Rene Ayala, who piloted the airship.  Unknown cause. 

DC-4 Estrella de Cuba and the Estrella de Oriente
 The DC-4 "Estrella de Oriente" and "Estrella de Cuba", both crashed

May 17, 1954  Curtiss C-46A-55-CK
CU-C556. (No.264), of Cubana, in Rancho Boyeros, when landing. Without  mortal victims. 

Mar. 30, 1958  Curtiss C-46D-10-CU
TI-1019. (No.33087. built in 1945), of Aerolineas Nacionales, in Havana; 35 mls hickjacked by rebels. 

Nov. 1, 1958  Vickers 755D Viscount
CU-T603 (built in 1956, N91), of Cubana, in flight N°495 from Miami to Varadero, that take off at the 22.00h, and should be landing to the 22.49h, but was hicjacked by the rebels of the Movement "26 of July" of Fidel Castro. Crash without fuel in the Nipe Bay after trying landing in the darkness in the trail of the sugar factory Preston. 17 dead persons (4 crews and 13 passengers) of the 4 and 16 that flew.

  After the revolution of 1959


Apr. 14, 1960 Curtiss C-46A
CU-C644 of Air Expreso Interamericano. Crash after the take off from Miami to Havana, with 2 crews and 2 passengers, but nobody dies. 

Mar. 27, 1962  Ilyushin Il-14
CU-T819 of Cubana. 22 dead persons (4 crew and 18 passengers) when take from Santiago de Cuba in route to Havana. 

Mar. 28, 1966  Antonov An-2
In Isla de Pinos. 6 dead persons. 

Jul.10, 1966 Ilyushin Il-18B
CU-T830 (N.182004905, built in 1962), of Cubana, without victims, in Cienfuegos. 

Feb. 9, 1967  Antonov An-12
CU-T827 (N401504) of Cubana, in Mexico City.  10 dead persons. Crashed after detonacion of an explosive on board. 

Mar.18, 1976  Antonov An-24B
CU-T879  (N.67302501, fact in 1966), of Cubana, 5 dead persons (5 crews, without passengers). It collides in the air with an DC-8 by Havana. 

Mar.18, 1976  McDonnell Douglas DC-8-43
CU-T1200 (N.45638/156) of Cubana, without victims (16 crews and 13 passengers).  The aircraft loses in the collision with a An-26 a part of the wing and a motor, but safe landed. 
 
DC-8 of Cubana
 In 1976 Cubana lost two airplanes DC-8. One was damaged in an accident, and the second was destroyed by a bomb, the worst terrorist action suffered by Cuba

Oct. 6, 1976  McDonnell Douglas DC-8-63
CU-T1201 (ex-CF-DJI.  N° 45611, built in 1961), of Cubana after take off from  Barbados.  Is perpetrated a terrorist crime, when exploiting two bombs in the airplane.  He crashed at sea in little distance from the coast of Barbados. 73 persons die (25 crews and 48 passengers). 

Although not be an Cuban airplane, we remember the Il-62 of Aeroflot (SSSR-86614) that crashed on May 27,1977 in Havana, when landing in Rancho Boyeros. 68 persons die (59 passengers and 9 crew) from a total of 70 persons, the most worse second air catastrophe in Cuba. 

Feb.23, 1980  Yakovlev Yak-40
CU-T1219 (N° 9840959. Built  in 1978) of Cubana. 1 dead person (of 37 persons: 4 crews and 33 passengers) landing in Baracoa. 

May 13, 1980  Ilyushin Il-14
CU-T322 (N° 147001642. Built in 1960) of Cubana. 3 crews dead, in training flight in Varadero. 

Jan.19, 1985  Ilyushin Il-18D
CU-T899 (N° 188011102) of Cubana. In flight Havana-Managua (Nicaragua) crashed after landing, in San Jose de las Lajas, at 8.22 o'clock.  Fidel Castro take part in the burial of the victims. 41 dead persons. A motor fire in flight. 

Sep. 4, 1989  Ilyushin Il-62M
CU-T1281 (N.3850453) of Cubana in Rancho Boyeros, Havana, at 19.00 o'clock. The airplane tries to take in rain and winds, and to the end of the trail a vertical descend wind does it to lose height and to be crashed out of the airport. In total 160 dead persons: 126 from the airplane (11 crews and 115 passengers) and 34 neighboring of the place, at ground.  Qualified like the accident N° 43 by the quantity of dead persons in all the history of the world aviation. The passengers were Italian tourists. This event provokes the decision of changing the head of the Cuban Aviacion Civil Institute (IACC). 

Mar. 20, 1990  Antonov An-26
CU-T1436 (N.7406) of Cubana-FAR. From 41 persons, no victims. It is set on fire in ground in the airport of Santiago of Cuba. 

Oct. 24, 1990  Yakovlev Yak-40
CU-T1202 (N° 931449, built in 1976) of Cubana in Punta Jardinero, Santiago de Cuba.  11 dead persons: 2 crews and 9 passengers (of 7 and 24 respectively). Pilot error, who decide to interrupt the flight by instruments and to continue visually, under bad conditions of the time and in mountain zone. 

Nov. 15, 1992 Ilyushin Il-18D
CU-T1270 (N° 187010301, built in 1967) of Aerocaribbean in Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic.  34 dead persons (6 crews and 28 passengers). Tha airplane crashed to a 850m hill, when approach to landing. 

Jul. 11, 1997  Antonov An-24RV
CU-T1262 of Cubana, in Santiago de Cuba.  44 dead persons: 5 crews and 39 passengers, among them 6 spanish and 2 brasilians. After the take off at  21.55 o'clock hours, one motor stop working, and the airplane crashed to the sea at few kilometros from the coast, in one of the points of greater depth of the Caribbean Sea. 

Ago. 30, 1998  Tupolev Tu-154M
CU-T1264 (N° 720, built Dec.23, 1985) of Cubana in Quito, Equator.  With 90 persons on board (76 passengers and 14 crews). Victims: 81 dead persons, including 9 neighbors of the place.  At 13.03 o'clock hours, after 20 minutes of various failed intents to take off from Guayaquil, the airplane not take height and crashed at home near the airport. The Ecuadorian President Jamil Mahuad arrive at the place. The Cuban General of Division Rogelio Acevedo, president of the Cuban Civil Aeronautic Institute, arrive at the Equator immediately. Acevedo inspected the zone of the disaster and interviewed for separated with the commander of the Ecuadorian Air Force, General Hernan Ballester, and with the president of the research comission named by the Ecuadorian government, Jorge Moreno. 

 
Tu-154 crashed
 The Tu-154 try to take off some times to gain the necesary velocity, but was overcharged
Tu-154 crashed in Ecuador
 The Tu-154 burning and divided in half after the crash. despues de la pista. By that hole various passengers jumped among them and achieved to save the life

Dec. 21, 1999  McDonnell Douglas DC-10-30
F-GTDI of Cubana-AOM, in the airport La Aurora, Guatemala City. At 10.00 o'clock of the morning, with 314 persons on board (296 passengers, almost all Guatemalan medicine students in Cuba, returning to pass the Christmases at home, and 18 crews). Was produced by pilot error, who landing at the center of the trail, and not have distance to brake, crashed falling in the adjacent town to the airport. The result of the accident went of 26 dead persons (8 crews, 9 passengers and 9 neighbors of the place) and 44 injured. 
 
DC-10-30 crashed in Guatemala
 This DC-10-30 fall over some houses near the airport (Air Disaster picture)

Dec. 25, 1999  Yakovlev Yak-42
CU-T1285 (N° 4520424914068, built in 1991) of Cubana, in Venezuela.  22 dead persons (12 crews and 10 passengers). In flight since Havana and under badly time, collides with a hill by Bejuma, at 160 km from Caracas, and 15 km from the airport of Valencia, near the 20.00 hours of the night.  Its capitan was Alberto Garcia Almeida and second capitan Marcos Herrera Hernandez. 
 
The same Yak-42 that later crashed
 The Yak-42D CU-T1285 of Cubana that later was crashed. This picture was taken in Berlín in 1991, when flying to Cuba just after he was buy (Gerhard Mackrodt picture, courtesy of Peter Frei)
The same Yak-42 crashed
 The researches examine the remains of the Yak-42, that was crashed in Venezuela. Is visible a part of the tail

Mar.14, 2002 An-2
CU-T1020 of Aerotaxi. The accident causes 17 dead persons (4 Cubans, 5 British, 6 Canadians and two Germans). The airplane lost a left wing when flying at a height of 1000 m, in flight over a water reservation near Báez, Santa Clara. 
 
A airplane An-2 in flight over the crashed
 A An-2 overflight the remainders of the other An-2 that crashed in March of the 2002 by Santa Clara. The airplane flew in the route Cienfuegos - Cayo Coco transporting tourists.  Is the first accident of a An-2 of passengers in Cuba. The fragments of the plane were collected to be studied by aviation specialists. The General Rogelio Acevedo has grounded about 100 Soviet-made biplanes for passenger flights pending a investigation into why the plane crashed (AP Photo/Cristobal Herrera)


  Related articles
The Trasatlantic Flight of Menendez Pelaez
1913. Audacious Flight of Rosillo and Parlá
1933-1938, Cuban Military Aviation. The 1933 Revolution and her consequences.

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