60 Years ago today: On 22 June 1962 an Air France Boeing 707-328 crashed near Pointe a Pitre, Guadeloupe; killing all 112 occupants.
|Date:||Friday 22 June 1962|
|First flight:||1962-02-23 (4 months)|
|Engines:||4 Pratt & Whitney JT4A-|
|Crew:||Fatalities: 10 / Occupants: 10|
|Passengers:||Fatalities: 103 / Occupants: 103|
|Total:||Fatalities: 113 / Occupants: 113|
|Aircraft fate:||Written off (damaged beyond repair)|
|Location:||25 km (15.6 mls) WNW of Pointe-à-Pitre-Le Raizet Airport (PTP) ( Guadeloupe)|
|Crash site elevation:||427 m (1401 feet) amsl|
|Nature:||International Scheduled Passenger|
|Departure airport:||Santa Maria-Vila do Porto Airport, Azores (SMA/LPAZ), Portugal|
|Destination airport:||Pointe-à-Pitre-Le Raizet Airport (PTP/TFFR), Guadeloupe|
A Boeing 707-328, operated by Air France, was destroyed when it crashed into a hillside near Pointe-à-Pitre, Guadeloupe. All 113 on board were killed.
The aircraft, named “Chateau de Chantilly”, operated flight 117 from Paris-Orly (France) to Santiago (Chile) with en route stops at Lisbon (Portugal), Santa Maria (Azores), Pointe-à-Pitre (Guadeloupe), Caracas (Venezuela), Bogotá (Colombia) and Lima (Peru).
The VOR at Le Raizet Airport was unserviceable when the flight approached Guadeloupe at night. Weather conditions were poor; a violent thunderstorm existed in the area and visibility was 10 km and a ceiling of 1000 feet within the squall. The crew reported over the NDB at 5000 feet and carried out a turn back towards the east to begin its final approach. Incorrect ADF indications, as a result of the thunderstorm, caused the plane to stray 15 km off the procedural let-down track. The Boeing 707 then crashed into a forest on a hill at an altitude of about 1400 feet.
PROBABLE CAUSE: 1) Breakdown of the VOR; 2) insufficient meteorological information given to the crew; 3) the atmospheric effects on the ADF indicator.