Air France Crash History
The crash and disappearance of Air France flight 447 isn’t the first for the French airline company. Numerous incidents have occurred dating back to the 1940s.
- October 27, 1949 – An Air France flight crashed into a mountain after attempting to land Sao Miguel island airport in the Azores.
- June 12 and June 14, 1950 – Two Air France Douglas DC-4s into the sea of Bahrain while landing. A total of 86 people were killed. On the first accident, 40 of the 53 people on board were killed. On the second accident, 46 of the 52 people on board were killed. Accident investigators concluded that the pilot in command on the first crash did not maintain the correct altitude until the runway lights became visible. On the second accident, the pilot did not keep track of the altitude and rate of descent during the approach.
- February 3, 1951 – A Douglas DC-3 operating from Douala, Cameroon to Niamey, Niger hit a mountain near Bouea, Cameroon. 29 people were killed.
- April 29, 1952 – A Douglas C-54A flying from Frankfurt Rhein-Main airport to Berlin Tempelhof airport was attacked by two Soviet MiG 15 fighters while passing through one of the Allied Air Corridors over East Germany. The pilot managed to successfully land the plane. There were no fatalities among the 17 people on board.
- September 1, 1953 – A Lockheed L-749A Constellation flying from Nice to Hong Kong crashed into Mount Cemet, France. All 42 on board were killed.
- April 8, 1957 – A Douglas C-47B crashed in Biskra, Algeria shortly after takeoff. The plane lost height and crashed a mile beyond the airport’s runway. All 34 on board were killed.
- May 31, 1958 – A Douglas C-47A from Algiers to Colomb-Bechard crashed near Moliere. All 15 on board were killed.
- August 29, 1960 – A Lockheed L-1049G Super Constellation flight operating from Paris to Abidjan, Ivory Coast via Dakar, Senegal crashed into the sea. All 63 on board were killed. The plane crashed while attempting a second landing at Dakar’s Yoff airport.
- May 10, 1961 – A Lockheed L1649A Starliner operating from N’DJamena, Chad to Marseille, France crashed in the Sahara desert near Edjele, Algeria. All 78 people on board were killed. The plane was flying at an altitude of 20,000 feet when its empennage failed. This caused the plane to break up in flight and crash in the Sahara desert.
- September 12, 1961 – A Sud Aviation SE-210 Caravelle III operating the Paris Orly-Rabat-Casablanca sector as flight AF2005 crashed near Rabat’s Sale Airport. All 77 people on board were killed. The aircraft was destroyed by fire when it impacted the ground.
- June 22, 1962 – A Boeing 707-328 crashed into a forest on a hill during bad weather. The plane was attempting to land at Point-a-Pitre, Guadeloupe, West Indies. All 113 on board were killed. A malfunctioning VOR station and poor NDB reception due to thunderstorms were to blame for the accident.
- March 6, 1968 – A Boeing 707-328C hit the southern slope of La Soufriere Mountain in Guadeloupe, at an altitude of 3,937 feet. All 63 people on board were killed.
- September 11, 1968 – A Sud Aviation SE-210 Caravelle III flying from Ajaccio, Corsica to Nice, France, crashed into the sear near Cap d’Antibes. All 95 on board were killed. The accident happened while the flight crew was attempting an emergency landing at Cote d’Azure airport, following the detection of fire in the rear cabin.
- December 4, 1969 – A Boeing 707-328B crashed into the sea shortly after takeoff from Simon Bolivar International Airport, Venezuela. All 62 on board were killed.
- June 12, 1975 – A Boeing 747-128 operating between Bombay (now Mumbai), India and Tel Aviv, Israel to Charles de Gaulle Airport was destroyed by fire on the ground at Bombay’s Santa Cruz Airport after an aborted takeoff. There were no fatalities among the 394 occupants onboard.
- June 27, 1976 – An Airbus A300 operating from Tel Aviv, Israel to Paris, France via Athens, Greece was hijacked shortly after departing Athens. After refueling in Benghazi, Libya, a hostage was freed. The hijackers then demanded that the plane fly to Entebbe, Uganda. Another 155 non-Israeli and/or non-Jewish hostages were freed. After several days of negotiating, Israel launched a commando raid into Entebbe to free them. All 6 hijackers were killed along with 3 hostages.
- January 18, 1984 – An explosion in the cargo hold of a Boeing 747 en route from Karachi, Pakistan to Dhahran, Saudi Arabia, blew a hole in the right cargo hold shortly after takeoff. The aircraft returned to Karachi without any fatalities to the 261 onboard.
- June 26, 1988 – An Airbus A320-111 crashed near the airfield of Mulhouse Habsheim in Alsace, France. The crash occurred during an air show while the flight deck crew was performing a flypast at low height and speed. Three passengers died and about 50 were injured.
- December 24, 1994 – An Airbus A300B2-1C was hijacked in Algiers, Algeria by four terrorists of the Armed Islamic Group. The terrorists had intended to crash the plane over the Eiffel Tower on Boxing Day. All four terrorist were killed after a firefight with GIGN French Special Forces. Two of the terrorists were shot dead by snipers on the terminal’s roof and the other two died as a result of gunshots in the cabin. Three hostages including a Vietnamese diplomat were executed. 229 hostages survived.
- September 5, 1996 – Three passengers were injured as a result of turbulence on a Boeing 747 in mid-air near Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso. One later died as a result from injuries received from an in-flight film projection screen.
- April 20, 1998 – An Air France flight from Bogota’s Eldorado Airport, Colombia to Quito, Ecuador crashed into a mountain near Bogota. The aircraft was leased from TAME and flown by an Ecuadorian crew. 43 passengers and 10 crew were killed.
- March 5, 1999 – an ext UTA Boeing 747-2B3F freighter carrying a revenue load of 66 tons of cargo on flight AF6745 from Paris Charles de Gaulle to Madras Meenambakkam, India, via Karachi, Pakistan and Bangalore HAL Airport, India crash-landed, caught on fire and burned out. All 5 crew members survived.
- July 25, 2000 – Air France flight 4590, a Concorde charter departing from Charles de Gaulle bound for New York’s JFK Airport crashed into a hotel just after takeoff in Gonesse, France. All 109 people on board were killed, along with 4 people on the ground.
- August 2, 2005 – Air France flight 358 overshot the runway at Toronto Pearson International Airport during a thunderstorm. The plane continued for 300 meters before stopping at the bottom of a ravine at the end of the runway adjacent to Highway 401. All 297 passengers and 12 crew members survived but the plane was completely destroyed by the fire. The investigation blamed pilot error. A class action law suit over the accident is still ongoing.
- June 1, 2009 – Air France flight 447, an Airbus A300-200 from Rio de Janeiro to Paris was reported missing over the Atlantic ocean. A Brazilian search and rescue mission is underway near the archipelago of Fernando de Noronha. Air France has lost all hope of the survival of the passengers and crew. The airplane was reported to have sent a message indicating an electrical failure.