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Accident description
Last updated: 10 October 2015
Date:Thursday 23 November 1961
Type:de Havilland DH-106 Comet 4
Operator:Aerolineas Argentinas
Registration: LV-AHR
C/n / msn: 6430
First flight: 1960
Total airframe hrs:5242
Engines: 4 Rolls-Royce Avon 524
Crew:Fatalities: 12 / Occupants: 12
Passengers:Fatalities: 40 / Occupants: 40
Total:Fatalities: 52 / Occupants: 52
Airplane damage: Damaged beyond repair
Location:2 km (1.3 mls) from São Paulo/Campinas-Viracopos International Airport, SP (VCP) (   Brazil)
Phase: Initial climb (ICL)
Nature:International Scheduled Passenger
Departure airport:São Paulo/Campinas-Viracopos International Airport, SP (VCP/SBKP), Brazil
Destination airport:Port of Spain-Piarco Airport (POS/TTPP), Trinidad and Tobago
A de Havilland DH-106 Comet 4 passenger jet was destroyed when it crashed shortly after takeoff from São Paulo/Campinas Airport, Brazil. All 40 passengers and 12 crew members were killed.
Aerolineas Argentinas flight 322 was a scheduled service from Buenos Aires, Argentina to New York-Idlewild International Airport, NY (IDL). Intermediate stops were planned at São Paulo/Campinas Airport (VCP), Brazil and Port of Spain-Piarco Airport (POS), Trinidad. The airplane took off from Campinas Airport at 05:38. After reaching an altitude of about 100m the aircraft lost altitude, collided with eucalyptus trees and crashed.

PROBABLE CAUSE: "It was presumed that the co-pilot was under flight instruction. If such was the case, the instructor, who was pilot-in-command, may have failed to brief or supervise the co-pilot properly."
Observations of the Government of Argentina as State of Registry: "Argentina has determined, in the light of information it has gathered, that the cause of the accident was: "Failure to operate under IFR during a takeoff by night in weather conditions requiring IFR operation and failure to follow the climb procedure for this type of aircraft; a contributory cause was the lack of vigilance by the pilot-in-command during the operations."

» The Deseret News - Nov 23, 1961


photo of de Havilland DH-106 Comet 4 LV-AHR
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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 São Paulo/Campinas-Viracopos International Airport, SP to Port of Spain-Piarco Airport as the crow flies is 4030 km (2519 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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DH-106 Comet

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  • 112 built
  • worst accident (at the time)
  • 4th worst accident (currently)
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