Accident description
Last updated: 19 December 2014
Status:
Date:Tuesday 1 September 1953
Time:23:30
Type:Silhouette image of generic CONI model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Lockheed L-749A Constellation
Operator:Air France
Registration: F-BAZZ
C/n / msn: 2674
First flight: 1951
Crew:Fatalities: 9 / Occupants: 9
Passengers:Fatalities: 33 / Occupants: 33
Total:Fatalities: 42 / Occupants: 42
Airplane damage: Destroyed
Airplane fate: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Location:Mont Le Cimet (   France) show on map
Phase: En route (ENR)
Nature:Domestic Scheduled Passenger
Departure airport:Paris-Orly Airport (ORY/LFPO), France
Destination airport:Nice Airport (NCE/LFMN), France
Narrative:
A Lockheed L-749A Constellation, F-BAZZ, was destroyed when it crashed into the side of Mont Le Cimet (3020 m), 80 km northwest of Nice, France. All 33 passengers and nine crew members were killed. Among the passengers a famous French violinist, Jacques Thibaud.
The airplane operated on an Air France service from Paris to Saigon. En route stops were planned at Nice (NCE), Beirut (BEY), Baghdad, Karachi (KHI) and Calcutta (CCU).
The airplane had initiated its descent for Nice when it struck the mountainside. Investigators concluded that the flight had deviated from the planned course for unknown reasons. The flight to Nice was planned via Montélimar, 150 km west of Mont Le Cimet. Over Montélimar it should have turned southeast for Nice.


Classification:
Controlled Flight Into Terrain (CFIT) - Mountain

Sources:
» Photos of the accident scene at Le Cimet in 2009
» Disaster in the air / Edgar A. Haine


Photos

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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 Nice Airport as the crow flies is 671 km (419 miles).

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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Lockheed L-749

  • 9th loss
  • 145 built
  • 5th worst accident (at the time)
  • 7th worst accident (currently)
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 France
  • 3rd worst accident (at the time)
  • 14th worst accident (currently)
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