Thai Airways International Flight 261

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Thai Airways International Flight 261
HS-TIC, sister-ship of the accident aircraft
Accident summary
Date 11 December 1998
Summary Probable spatial disorientation in stormy weather
Site c. 4 km (2.5 mi) SW of Surat Thani Airport (URT) (Thailand)
Passengers 132
Crew 14
Injuries (non-fatal) 45
Fatalities 101
Survivors 45
Aircraft type Airbus A310-204
Aircraft name Phitsanulok
Operator Thai Airways International
Registration HS-TIA
Flight origin Bangkok-Don Muang International Airport (BKK/VTBD)
Destination Surat Thani Airport (URT/VTSB)

Thai Airways International Flight 261 was a scheduled passenger flight from Bangkok, Thailand to Surat Thani, Thailand. On 11 December 1998, the flight was being flown by an Airbus Airbus A310-204, registration HS-TIA.

Thai Flight 261, carrying 146 people, took off from Don Mueang International Airport at 11:40 UST on a two-hour flight to Surat Thani. When the aircraft began to descend to Surat Thani Airport, the weather was bad with heavy rain and poor visibility, and the pilot executed a missed approach two times. On a third attempt to land, the aircraft stalled and crashed two miles southwest of the airport, killing 101 people (including both pilots) and injuring 45 people. Ninety passengers and 11 crew members died.[1] The probable cause of the crash was determined to be "spatial disorientation when the nose pitched up sharply during a night time approach in stormy weather". [2]

The accident remains (Mar 2015) the second-deadliest in Thailand, behind Lauda Air Flight 004.


HS-TIA was an Airbus A310-204, c/n 415, previously registered as F-WWBI for flight testing with Airbus. Given the name Phitsanulok, HS-TIA was first flown on 3 March 1986 and delivered to Thai Airways at Don Mueang on 29 April 1986.


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