Narrative:A Boeing 707-328, operated by Air France, was destroyed when it crashed into a hillside near Pointe-à-Pitre, Guadeloupe. All 113 on board were killed.
The aircraft, named "Chateau de Chantilly", operated flight AF117 from Paris-Orly (ORY), France to Santiago (SCU), Chile with en route stops at Lisbon (LIS), Santa Maria (SMA), Azores, Pointe-à-Pitre (PTP), Guadeloupe, Caracas (CCS), Venezuela, Lima (LIM), Peru and Bogotá (BOG), Colombia.
The VOR at Le Raizet Airport was unserviceable when the flight approached Guadeloupe at night. Weather conditions were poor; a violent thunderstorm existed in the area and visibility was 10km and a ceiling of 1000 feet within the squall. The crew reported over the NDB at 5000 feet and carried out a turn back towards the east to begin its final approach. Incorrect ADF indications, as a result of the thunderstorm, caused the plane to stray 15 km off the procedural let-down track. The Boeing 707 then crashed into a forest on a hill at an altitude of about 1400 feet.
PROBABLE CAUSE: 1) Breakdown of the VOR; 2) insufficient meteorological information given to the crew; 3) the atmospheric effects on the ADF indicator.
Controlled Flight Into Terrain (CFIT) - Mountain
» Aviation Disasters / D. Gero
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 Santa Maria-Vila do Porto Airport, Azores to Pointe-à-Pitre-Le Raizet Airport as the crow flies is 4217 km (2636 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.