OK523 Disaster

Czechoslovakian Airlines Flight 523 (OK523) originally departed from Prague, CZ, final destination Havana Cuba, crashed shortly after take off from Gander Airport after a refueling stopover on September 5, 1967.

"The weather was good (ceiling 2,600 feet, visibility 15 miles, no precipitation), the aircraft was practically new (built in April 1967 and flown only 766 hours), the weight and balance had been calculated correctly, there was no conflicting traffic, the runway was clear, the crew was qualified, the engines worked fine, but the aircraft crashed.

The aircraft took off Gander’s Runway 14 (now Runway 13), at 0510 Greenwich Mean Time (2:40 a.m. local time) on Sept. 5, 1967, flew for 32 seconds in which it climbed to approximately 125 feet at the end of the runway and made a shallow descent. Impact occurred at 4,000 feet beyond the end of the runway with the aircraft nose-down about six degrees with the wings level.
The multibillion dollar aircraft was an Ilyushin IL-18D (turboprop) operated by Czechoslovakia State Airlines....

(These comments were taken from Frank Tibbo’s column in the Gander Beacon in Sept 14, 2010)


Of the 69 passengers and crew, 32 died immediately and five later — 32 survived.




It was the first departing aircraft crash that occurred at Gander Airport that involved a civilian air carrier causing multiple deaths.  Information from the aircraft's flight data recording’s was confiscated by the Czechoslovakian authorities and withheld from the Transport Canada’s Accident Investigation  team. Tension between the USSR and NATO aligned countries were at it's maximum. The reason for the crash is still officially unknown to this day although suspected conclusions have been suggested.


Crash site


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