Criminal Occurrence description
Last updated: 5 March 2015
Date:Wednesday 10 May 1961
Time:ca 02:30
Type:Lockheed L-1649A Starliner
Operator:Air France
Registration: F-BHBM
C/n / msn: 1027
First flight: 1957
Crew:Fatalities: 9 / Occupants: 9
Passengers:Fatalities: 69 / Occupants: 69
Total:Fatalities: 78 / Occupants: 78
Airplane damage: Destroyed
Airplane fate: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Location:100 km (62.5 mls) N of Edjele (   Algeria)
Phase: En route (ENR)
Nature:International Scheduled Passenger
Departure airport:Fort Lamy Airport (NDJ/FTTJ), Chad
Destination airport:Marseille-Marignane Airport (MRS/LFML), France
Flightnumber: 406
Air France flight 406 was carried out by a Lockheed L-1649A Starliner named "De Grasse". It was a scheduled flight from Brazzaville (BZV) to Paris with intermediate stops at Bangui Airport (BGF), Central African Republic, Fort Lamy Airport (NDJ), now N'Djamena in Chad, and Marseille. Cruising at an altitude of 20,000 feet the empennage failed. The Starliner broke up in flight and crashed in the Sahara desert. It is thought that the empennage broke away as a result of the detonation of a nitrocellulose explosive device.

Fuselage failure
Loss of control

» Aviation Disasters / D. Gero


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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 Lamy Airport to Marseille-Marignane Airport as the crow flies is 3587 km (2242 miles).

This information is not presented as the Flight Safety Foundation or the Aviation Safety Networkĺs 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-1649

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