Accident description
Last updated: 1 August 2014
Status:Final
Date:Friday 28 October 1949
Type:Silhouette image of generic CONI model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Lockheed L-749-79-46 Constellation
Operator:Air France
Registration: F-BAZN
C/n / msn: 2546
First flight: 1947
Crew:Fatalities: 11 / Occupants: 11
Passengers:Fatalities: 37 / Occupants: 37
Total:Fatalities: 48 / Occupants: 48
Airplane damage: Destroyed
Airplane fate: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Location:Redondo Mountain, São Miguel Island, Azores (   Portugal) show on map
Phase: Approach (APR)
Nature:International Scheduled Passenger
Departure airport:Paris-Orly Airport (ORY/LFPO), France
Destination airport:Santa Maria-Vila do Porto Airport, Azores (SMA/LPAZ), Portugal
Narrative:
Lockheed Constellation F-BAZN departed Paris-Orly at 20:05 for a flight to New York with an intermediate stop at Santa Maria, Azores. At 01:41 the crew reported 150nm from Santa Maria with an ETA of 02:45. The ETA was later changed to 02:55. At 02:51 the flight reported flying at 3000 feet with the airfield in sight. After acknowledging landing instructions, nothing more was heard from the flight. The Constellation had struck the Redondo Mountain at an elevation of 900m.
Famous violinist Ginette Neveu and famous boxer Marcel Cerdan were killed in the crash.


PROBABLE CAUSE: "Failure to carry out either of the approach procedures for Santa Maria airport. False position reports given by crew. Inadequate navigation. Failure to identify Santa Maria Airport, when flying in VFR conditions."

Classification:
Controlled Flight Into Terrain (CFIT) - Mountain

Sources:


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Map
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 Paris-Orly Airport to Santa Maria-Vila do Porto Airport, Azores as the crow flies is 2558 km (1599 miles).

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Lockheed L-749

  • 4th loss
  • 145 built
  • worst accident (at the time)
  • 3rd worst accident (currently)
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 Portugal
  • worst accident (at the time)
  • 6th worst accident (currently)
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