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The instability of Bondi-Hoyle-Lyttleton accretion, observed in numerical simulations, is analyzed through known physical mechanisms and possible numerical artefacts. The mechanisms of the longitudinal and transverse instabilities, established within the accretion line model, are clarified. They cannot account for the instability of BHL accretion at moderate Mach number when the pressure forces within the shock cone are taken into account. The advective-acoustic instability is considered in thedoi:10.1051/0004-6361:20042201 fatcat:7mhxhdlykbgofdkfiadyvwrj7a