62 Years ago today: On 10 May 1961 an Air France Lockheed L-1649A Starliner broke up in midair and crashed near Edjele, killing all 78 occupants.

Date:Wednesday 10 May 1961
Type:Lockheed L-1649A Starliner
Operator:Air France
First flight:1957
Total airframe hrs:10014
Engines:Wright R-3350 (988TC18EA2)
Crew:Fatalities: 9 / Occupants: 9
Passengers:Fatalities: 69 / Occupants: 69
Total:Fatalities: 78 / Occupants: 78
Aircraft damage:Destroyed
Aircraft fate:Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Location:100 km (62.5 mls) N of Edjele (   Algeria)
Phase:En route (ENR)
Nature:International Scheduled Passenger
Departure airport:Fort Lamy Airport (NDJ/FTTJ), Chad
Destination airport:Marseille-Marignane Airport (MRS/LFML), France

Air France flight 406 was carried out by a Lockheed L-1649A Starliner named “De Grasse”. It was a scheduled flight from Brazzaville (BZV) to Paris with intermediate stops at Bangui Airport (BGF), Central African Republic, Fort Lamy Airport (NDJ), now N’Djamena in Chad, and Marseille. Cruising at an altitude of 20,000 feet the empennage failed. The Starliner broke up in flight and crashed in the Sahara desert. It is thought that the empennage broke away as a result of the detonation of a nitrocellulose explosive device.