The Story Of THAI Airways Flight 365

  • 777-300ER aircraft departing Zurich for

    Thai Airways

    IATA/ICAO Code:

    Airline Type:
    Full Service Carrier

    Bangkok Suvarnabhumi Airport

    Year Founded:

    Star Alliance

    Suvadhana Sibunruang


On August 31, 1987, exactly 25 years ago today, THAI Airways Flight 365 was a regularly scheduled domestic flight between Hat Yai International Airport (HDY) in southern Thailand and Phuket International Airport (HKT). passengers and crew.

The aircraft, a seven-year-old Boeing 737-200 with the registration HS-TBC, was delivered new to THAI Airways from Boeing’s Renton factory in August 1980. In charge of the flight was 53-year-old Captain Vishanet Ampawat, with 19,538 flying hours, 5,576 of which were aboard the Boeing 737. Assisting the captain was an unnamed 37-year-old first officer with 5,951 flight hours, of which only 156 hours was aboard the Boeing 737.


Thai Airways Flight 365 crashed into the Andaman Sea 9.3 miles short of the airport. Image: GCmaps

Flight 365 was concerned about another aircraft

As the flight approached Phuket International Airport, the weather conditions at the time were good. While preparing to land, Captain Ampawatt expressed concern about a Dragonair Boeing 737 that was also landing at the airport.

While flying below and behind the THAI Airways flight at 15:34 local time, the Dragonair captain radioed Air Traffic Control (ATC) to say that he was flying at 2,460 feet 15 miles out. Meanwhile, THAI Airways flight 365 was 5.6 miles from the airport.

Because the Dragonair flight was flying at a lower altitude, it was allowed to land first, turning right for a final approach on runway 27. A few seconds later, THAI Airways flight 365 was given permission to descend to 3,300 feet and instructed to land. Immediately after, the THAI Airways flight crew called the Phuket tower to say that the position of the Dragonair plane was wrong. The Thai Airways pilots also told ATC that they were 9.3 miles out. Following a short conversation, Flight 365 was given priority to land. first.

Flight 365 stalled and crashed into the sea

The captain of the Dragonair flight radioed the THAI Airways crew to warn of a possible collision as the THAI Boeing 737 was on course to intercept his flight. As a result of this, flight 365 reduced its airspeed by too much, forcing the stick shaker to activate. The aircraft then continued to slow further before finally stalling.

In an attempt to recover from the stall, the captain increased power and retracted the landing gear, but it proved to be too little too late as the plane crashed into the Andaman Sea 9.3 miles east of the airport. 66 feet before coming to rest on the seabed. All nine crew members and 74 passengers died in the crash.

The investigation

Investigators determined that the probable cause of the crash was because the pilot had slowed the plane down too much, causing it to stall. They pointed out that the captain was probably confused over which plane was supposed to land first. the pilot did the correct thing increasing power and raising the landing gear, but it was too late. Phuket Air Traffic Control was also criticized for failing to keep Flight 365 and the Dragonair flight adequately separated. duties.

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