Narrative:The Air France DC-4 was on a scheduled flight from Saigon to Paris. It took off from Karachi (KHI) for Bahrain (BAH) at 16:05. At 20:42 the aircraft called Bahrain approach control giving its altitude as 6500 feet and requesting clearance to descend. Approach control gave clearance to descend to 2000 feet, altimeter setting of 29.51 inches, visibility 1500 yards (1370 metres).
The airplane overflew the airfield at a height of about 1000 feet. At 21:13 the aircraft called Bahrain tower, saying "down wind leg"; the tower acknowledged and said "ground wind 310/20 knots", the aircraft called the tower at 21:15 hours saying "finals" . The tower controller cleared the flight to land on runway 29. On finals the airplane contacted the water and crashed. The wreckage was found in 12 feet of water, 3,3 miles from the runway end 8 hours after the accident.
Two days later an Air France DC-4 on the same flight leg also crashed while on approach to Bahrain at night, killing 40 occupants.
PROBABLE CAUSE: "The pilot-in-command did not keep an accurate check of his altitude and rate of descent during the timed approach procedure, thus allowing his aircraft to fly into the surface of the sea. The possibility that the pilot-in-command was feeling the effects of fatigue cannot be ruled out. It is recommended that consideration be given to equipping Bahrain Airport with radio landing aids and with suitable runway approach lights."
Insufficient rest / fatigue
Flightcrew's failure to monitor instruments
Controlled Flight Into Terrain (CFIT) - Water
» ICAO Circular 38-AN/33 (7-9)
Official accident investigation report
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 Karachi International Airport to Bahrain International Airport as the crow flies is 1653 km (1033 miles).