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Last updated: 7 December 2021
Date:Tuesday 28 November 1972
Type:Silhouette image of generic DC86 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
McDonnell Douglas DC-8-62
Operator:Japan Air Lines - JAL
Registration: JA8040
MSN: 46057/474
First flight: 1969
Engines: 4 Pratt & Whitney JT3D-
Crew:Fatalities: 9 / Occupants: 14
Passengers:Fatalities: 52 / Occupants: 62
Total:Fatalities: 61 / Occupants: 76
Aircraft damage: Destroyed
Aircraft fate: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Location:Moskva-Sheremetyevo Airport (SVO) (   Russia)
Crash site elevation: 192 m (630 feet) amsl
Phase: Initial climb (ICL)
Nature:International Scheduled Passenger
Departure airport:Moskva-Sheremetyevo Airport (SVO/UUEE), Russia
Destination airport:Tokyo-Haneda Airport (HND/RJTT), Japan
A McDonnell Douglas DC-8-62 passenger plane, JA8040, was destroyed when it crashed on takeoff from Moscow's -Sheremetyevo Airport (SVO), Russia.
Five of the 14 crew members and ten of the 62 passengers survived the accident.
JAL flight JL446 was a scheduled international flight from Copenhagen (CPH), Denmark to Tokyo-Haneda (HND), Japan with an en route stop in Moscow.
The flight to Moscow was uneventful and the airplane landed at 18:17. After servicing of the aircraft startup and taxi clearance was received at 19:38. JL446 was cleared for takeoff from runway 25 at 19:49.
On takeoff the DC-8 climbed to 100 m with a supercritical angle of attack and lost height abruptly. It hit the ground and burst into flames.

Probable Cause:

The cause of the disaster to aircraft DC-8-62 JA-8040 resided in the fact that during take-off and following attainment of the safety speed V2, the crew put the aircraft into a supercritical angle of attack which resulted in loss of speed and altitude.
The aircraft's assumption of supercritical angles of attack was the consequence of one of the following circumstances:
a) inadvertent extension of the spoilers in flight, leading to a fall in the maximum value of the lift ratio and an increase in drag;
b) loss of control of the aircraft by the crew in conditions associated with malfunctioning of the No. 1 or No. 2 engine consequent upon possible ice formation on the engine intake at a time when the de-icing system was switched off.
The anomalies in the functioning of the engines observed by the crew and other witnesses may have arisen after the aircraft had assumed a supercritical angle of attack with the spoilers extended.

Loss of control

» Flight International 05 November 1977 (1342)
» ICAO Circular 132-AN/93 (22-26)


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This map shows the airport of departure and the intended destination of the flight. The line between the airports does not display the exact flight path.
Distance from Moskva-Sheremetyevo Airport to Tokyo-Haneda Airport as the crow flies is 7438 km (4649 miles).
Accident location: Approximate; accuracy within a few kilometers.

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