54 Years ago today: On 5 March 1966 a BOAC Boeing 707 broke up and crashed at the foot of Mount Fuji, Japan, killing all 124 occupants.
|Date:||Saturday 5 March 1966|
|Operator:||British Overseas Airways Corporation – BOAC|
|C/n / msn:||17706/113|
|Total airframe hrs:||19523|
|Engines:||4 Rolls-Royce Conway 508|
|Crew:||Fatalities: 11 / Occupants: 11|
|Passengers:||Fatalities: 113 / Occupants: 113|
|Total:||Fatalities: 124 / Occupants: 124|
|Aircraft fate:||Written off (damaged beyond repair)|
|Location:||Mount Fuji ( Japan)|
|Crash site elevation:||1320 m (4331 feet) amsl|
|Phase:||En route (ENR)|
|Nature:||International Scheduled Passenger|
|Departure airport:||Tokyo-Haneda Airport (HND/RJTT), Japan|
|Destination airport:||Hong Kong-Kai Tak International Airport (HKG/VHHH), Hong Kong|
BOAC Flight 911 was a scheduled service from San Francisco (SFO) to Hong Kong (HKG) via Honolulu (HNL) and Tokyo (HND). The Boeing 707 was expected to arrive at Tokyo Airport at 16:45 on 4 March. However, due to poor meteorological conditions at Tokyo and because the precision approach radar (PAR) of the GCA was out of service, it diverted to Fukuoka (FUK) and landed there at 18:00. After staying overnight at Fukuoka, Flight 911 left for Tokyo at 11:25 and landed there at 12:43. The aircraft was prepared for the next leg to Hong Kong and a flight plan was filed for a flight in accordance with the instrument flight rules via Oshima on airway JG6 to Hong Kong at FL310.
At 13:42 hours the crew contacted ATC requesting permission to start the engines and clearance for a VMC climb via Fuji-Rebel-Kushimoto. The aircraft left the ramp at 13:50. It was instructed to make “a right turn after take off”, and departed Tokyo Airport at 13:58. After takeoff the aircraft flew over Gotemba City on a heading of approximately 298 deg at an altitude of approximately 4900 m and indicated airspeed of 320 to 370 knots. The aircraft, trailing white vapor, then suddenly lost altitude over the Takigahara area, and parts of the aircraft began to break away over Tsuchiyadai and Ichirimatsu. Finally over Tarobo at an altitude of approx. 2000 m, the forward fuselage broke away. The mid-aft fuselage together with the wing, making a slow flat spin to the right, crashed into a forest at the foot of Mount Fuji. The forward fuselage crashed into the forest approx. 300 m to the west of the above site and caught fire.
PROBABLE CAUSE: “The aircraft suddenly encountered abnormally severe turbulence over Gotemba City which imposed a gust load considerably in excess of the design limit.”