1977, 19th November – Madeira Island Air Accident

The greatest tragedy in Portuguese aviation occurred on 19th November 1977, at Madeira Airport. TAP’s Boeing 727-200, called Sacadura Cabral, crashed while attempting to land on the runway of Santa Catarina Airport in Madeira.
According to the accident investigation report published by INAC, the factors pointed out were the adverse meteorological conditions combined with the short runway and human failure.
At the third landing attempt, the plane touched the runway and only stopped 323 meters ahead of normal, reaching the end of the runway at a speed of 126 km/h.
The aircraft broke in half with its tail on the ground – which allowed 33 people to survive with injuries – and the front at sea, followed by an explosion. There were 131 fatalities.
TAP and Império Insurance Company, which guaranteed the civil liability, have settled the indemnification processes judicially and extrajudicially.
Because of the accident the company moved on to extend the runway in 1986 and in successive years – it is still today considered one of the most difficult to land worldwide.
In 2017 this international airport was renamed “Cristiano Ronaldo” in honor of the player, under a proposal that has not yet been officially accepted.


Image Source
Image of newspaper cover “O Dia”, 21st November 1977 – CHAPAS Club Collection