Narrative:A Boeing 707-121B passenger plane, operated by Pan American World Airways, was destroyed when it flew into the side of Chances Peak, Montserrat. All 21 passengers and nine crew members were killed.
PanAm Flight PA-292 operated on a scheduled service from Fort de France, Martinique (FDF) to New York with en route stops at Antigua (ANU), St. Croix, Virgin Islands (STX), and San Juan, Puerto Rico (SJU). An IFR flight plan had been filed for the 30-minute leg to Antigua. Cruising altitude would be FL165.
The Boeing 707, named "Clipper Constitution", took off from Fort de France's runway 27 at 11:04 UTC. Cruising altitude was reached at 11:09. The crew established radio contact with the Antigua controller at 11:15. The controller cleared the flight to the Coolidge NDB beacon at 2500 feet and told the crew to report at the beacon outbound leaving 2500 feet or field in sight. At approximately 11:25 the flight reported through FL040 with the field not yet in sight. At the same time the airplane was observed flying along the coast of the island of Montserrat in rain and below the clouds with landing gear down and flaps partially extended. Shortly afterwards the airplane struck a mountain at an elevation of 2760 feet asl and 242 feet below the summit.
Weather was poor with thunderstorms, towering cumulus, heavy rains.
CAUSE: "The accident was the result of the aircraft descending below a safe height when its position had not been accurately established. "
» ICAO Circular 88/74 Volume II (7-35)
» International Journal of Aviation Safety June 1983 (p.13-14)
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 de France-Lamentin Airport to Antigua-Coolidge International Airport as the crow flies is 294 km (184 miles).