Vietnam Airlines Flight 474
VN-A446 Yakolev Yak.40 VAA (7879700854).jpg
Sister-ship to Vietnam Airlines VN-A446, retired to a park in Ho Chi Minh City
Date14 November 1992
SummaryControlled flight into terrain
Sitenear Son Trung, Vietnam
Aircraft typeYakovlev Yak-40
OperatorVietnam Airlines
Flight originHo Chi Minh City-Tan Son Nhat International Airport (SGN/VVTS)
DestinationNha Trang Airport (NHA/VVNT)

Vietnam Airlines Flight 474 crashed on approach to Nha Trang Airport on 14 November 1992 during Cyclone Forrest. The aircraft was a Yakovlev Yak-40 registered VN-A449, a three-engined jet airliner built in the Soviet Union in 1976.[1] One passenger survived, while the other 24 passengers and six crew were killed.


The aircraft was on a domestic scheduled flight from Tan Son Nhat International Airport to Nha Trang Airport.[1] On approach to Nha Trang Airport during bad weather, it descended below a safe altitude and hit trees along a ridge, crashed, and was destroyed.[1] It took rescuers eight days to find the wreckage of the plane but one passenger had survived.[2]

Sole survivor

Annette Herfkens was the sole survivor of the crash. She survived eight days with multiple injuries and sustained herself only on rainwater. Some passengers survived the initial impact but died before they could be rescued. Herfkens' fiancé, who was travelling with her, died instantly upon impact.[2][3]

In 2014, Herfkens published the memoir recounting her experiences: Turbulence: A True Story of Survival.[4] It has "...received great applause from [its] audience..."[5] and critical acclaim from Deepak Chopra, Kirkus Reviews and other authors.

Herfkens writes and speaks about the gains that come with loss. Nine years after the crash her son was diagnosed with autism; she now also works with parents of autistic children. Herfkens lives in New York City with her family.[6][7] She is the sister of Dutch diplomat, Eveline Herfkens.

Related deaths and aftermath

On 22 November 1992 a Vietnamese Mil Mi-8 helicopter was sent from Hanoi carrying rescue workers for Flight 474, but it crashed near Ô Kha mountain on the same day. All seven people aboard were killed.[8]

Almost a year after the accident, family members in the UK demanded an investigation after receiving news that the bodies were returned to the wrong families.[9]


  1. ^ a b c Accident description for VN-A449 at the Aviation Safety Network. Retrieved on 2 November 2014.
  2. ^ a b Bennetto, Jason (9 August 1993). "Inquiry Demanded After Air Crash : Bodies are Sent to Wrong Families". The Independent (London). Retrieved 15 December 2011.
  3. ^ "Accident Description". 14 November 1992. Retrieved 9 August 2014.
  4. ^ Turbulence: A True Story of Survival, by Annette Herfkens, Matter & Mind, San Bernardino, CA, 2014 ISBN 978-0-9913179-0-5
  5. ^ "Sole Survivor in Vietnam Plane Crash to Return to Launch Memoir, 22 Yrs On". Tuoitrenews. 9 August 2014. Retrieved 30 August 2014.
  6. ^ "I Felt Compelled to Talk". FOX News. 30 April 2011. Retrieved 9 August 2014.
  7. ^ "A Plane Crash Survivor's Story". CNN. 24 March 2014. Retrieved 29 August 2014.
  8. ^ "Những ngày băng rừng tìm máy bay rơi ở thung lũng Ô Kha". VNExpress (in Vietnamese). 14 August 2014.
  9. ^ 09 August 1993 article in The Independent