The Gottröra accident

Or the Gottröra miracle, as it has also been called. On the morning of December 27, 1991 Scandinavian Airlines Flight 751 took off from Stockholm Arlanda. The aircraft was a McDonnell Douglas MD-81, called “Dana Viking”. It was to fly to Warsaw via Copenhagen, but just a few minutes after take-off, at 08.48, the engines lost all power. It was found afterwards that the reason for this was that clear ice falling from the wings had entered and choked both engines. The fact that the engines had lost power immediately after take-off while the aircraft was at a low height the pilots had only a very short time to find a suitable place to prepare for and make a forced landing. After only a couple of minutes gliding they managed to put the aircraft down in an open area surrounded by forest. The heavy landing broke the aircraft fuselage into three pieces, but fortunately there was no fire. Every one of the 123 passengers and 6 crew survived. However 25 were injured, more or less severely. The most severly injured person was unfortunately confined to a wheelchair for life.

The Swedish Accident Investigation Authority (Statens haverikommission – SHK) conclusion was that the main reason for the accident was that SAS had inadequate procedures for inspecting the presence of ice on their aircraft.