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Accident
Last updated: 24 October 2017
Status:Schlussbericht
Datum:Mittwoch 15 Februar 1961
Zeit:09:05 UTC
Flugzeugtyp:Silhouette image of generic B703 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Boeing 707-329
Fluggesellschaft:Sabena
Kennzeichen: OO-SJB
Werknummer: 17624/92
Baujahr: 1959
Betriebsstunden:3038
Triebwerk: 4 Pratt & Whitney JT4A
Besatzung:Todesopfer: 11 / Insassen: 11
Fluggäste:Todesopfer: 61 / Insassen: 61
Gesamt:Todesopfer: 72 / Insassen: 72
Opfer am Boden:Todesopfer: 1
Sachschaden: Zerstört
Konsequenzen: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Unfallort:3 km (1.9 Meilen) NE of Brussel-Zaventem Airport (BRU) (   Belgien)
Flugphase: Annäherung (APR)
Betriebsart:Internationaler Linienflug
Flug von:New York-Idlewild International Airport, NY (IDL/KIDL), USA
Flug nach:Brussel-Zaventem Airport (BRU/EBBR), Belgien
Flugnummer:SN548
Unfallbericht:
Sabena flight SN548 was a transatlantic service from New York to Brussels. The Boeing 707 was on a long approach to runway 20 when, near the runway threshold and at a height of 900 feet, power was increased and the gear retracted. The plane made three 360 degrees turns to the left and climbed to 1500 feet. During these turns the bank angle increased more and more until the aircraft was in a near vertical bank. The wings then leveled, followed by an abrupt pitch up. The 707 lost speed, started to spiral rapidly towards the ground nose down, crashed and caught fire.

Probable Cause:

PROBABLE CAUSE: "Having carried out all possible reasonable investigations, the Commission concluded that the cause of the accident had to be looked for in the material failure of the flying controls.
However, while it was possible to advance certain hypotheses regarding the possible causes, they could not be considered entirely satisfactory. Only the material failure of two systems could lead to a complete explanation, but left the way open to an arbitrary choice because there was not sufficient evidence to corroborate it."
The FAA commented that the most plausible hypothesis was a malfunction of the stabilizer adjusting mechanism permitting the stabilizer to run to the 10.5deg nose-up position.

Informationsquelle:
» ICAO Circular 69-AN/61 (43-58)


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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 New York-Idlewild International Airport, NY to Brussel-Zaventem Airport as the crow flies is 5845 km (3653 miles).
Accident location: Exact; deduced from official accident report.

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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