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Last updated: 19 September 2018
Fecha:domingo 1 agosto 1948
Hora:ca 01:30 UTC
Tipo:Latécoère 631
Operador:Air France
Registración: F-BDRC
Numéro de série: 6
Año de Construcción: 1947-11-09 (9 months)
Horas Totales de la Célula:35
Motores: 6 Wright R-2600-A5B Cyclone
Tripulación:Fatalidades: 12 / Ocupantes: 12
Pasajeros:Fatalidades: 40 / Ocupantes: 40
Total:Fatalidades: 52 / Ocupantes: 52
Daños en la Aeronave: Desaparecido
Consecuencias: Presumed damaged beyond repair
Ubicación:c 1900 km W off Dakar, Senegal (   Océano Atlántico)
Fase: En ruta (ENR)
Naturaleza:Vuelo Internacional Programado
Aeropuerto de Salida:Fort de France Hydrobase, Martinica
Aeropuerto de Llegada:Port-Étienne Airport (NDB/GQPP), Mauritania
Número de Vuelo:AF072
The Latécoère 631 flying boat, named "Lionel de Marnier", operated on a round trip service from Biscarrosse, France to Fort de France, Martinique, with a refueling stop at Port-Etienne, Mauritania.
At 15:05 the aircraft took off on the first leg of the return flight. The cruising altitude was 3000 meters in instrument weather conditions. Planned flying time from Fort de France to Port-Étienne was 16 hours and 15 minutes.
Hourly position reports were made until 00:11 UTC when it reported passing 1927N, 3825W. No contact was established with the flight and the aircraft failed to arrive.
A search mission was commenced using a submarine, three ships, a Lockheed Constellation, a Latécoère 631, three B-17's and seven B-29's. On August 6 a U.S. Coast Guard cutter, USCGC Campbell, reported finding two aircraft seats at 18°17N, 17°00W. The Campell and another ship collected several other smaller pieces of debris before the search was called off on August 8.

The aircraft crashed into the Atlantic Ocean some 1900 km west off Dakar, Senegal.

Probable Cause:

Conclusions: "The members of the committee are unanimous in attributing the accident to a serious and sudden event whose origin could not be verified with certainty."

» Air-Britain Casualty Compendium Part 47
» La courte vie du F-BDRC / P.Parpaite


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This map shows the airport of departure and the intended destination of the flight. The line between the airports does not display the exact flight path.
Distance from Fort de France Hydrobase to Port-Étienne Airport as the crow flies is 4675 km (2922 miles).
Accident location: Approximate; accuracy within a few kilometers.

This information is not presented as the Flight Safety Foundation or the Aviation Safety Network’s opinion as to the cause of the accident. It is preliminary and is based on the facts as they are known at this time.
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