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Accident
Last updated: 19 September 2017
Statuts:Enquête Officielle
Date:mercredi 11 juillet 1973
Heure:14:03
Type/Sous-type:Silhouette image of generic B703 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Boeing 707-345C
Compagnie:Varig
Immatriculation: PP-VJZ
Numéro de série: 19841/683
Année de Fabrication: 1968
Moteurs: 4 Pratt & Whitney JT3D-3B
Equipage:victimes: 7 / à bord: 17
Passagers:victimes: 116 / à bord: 117
Total:victimes: 123 / à bord: 134
Dégats de l'appareil: Détruit
Conséquences: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Lieu de l'accident:5 km (3.1 milles) W of Paris-Orly Airport (ORY) (   France)
Phase de vol: En approche (APR)
Nature:Transport de Passagers Intern.
Aéroport de départ:Rio de Janeiro-Galeão International Airport, RJ (GIG/SBGL), Brésil
Aéroport de destination:Paris-Orly Airport (ORY/LFPO), France
Numéro de vol: 820
Détails:
Varig Flight 820 departed Rio de Janeiro (GIG) at 03:03 for a flight to Paris-Orly (ORY). The en route part of the flight was uneventful. At 13:57 the aircraft had descended to FL80 and contacted Orly approach, who told the crew to maintain FL80 and head to the OLS VOR which would take the aircraft to the downwind leg of runway 26. At 13:58:20 the flight crew contacted Orly approach and reported a "problem with fire on board". An emergency descent was requested. At 13:59 clearance was given to descend to 3000 feet for a runway 07 landing, making a straight-in approach possible. While the situation on board was getting worse (smoke entering the cockpit and passengers becoming asphyxiated), a clearance to descend to 2000 feet was given at 14:01:10. The flight crew put on oxygen masks as smoke was making it impossible to read the instruments. At 14:03 the pilot decided to make an emergency landing 5 km short of the runway with gear down and flaps at 80deg. The Boeing approached with considerable nose-up attitude, in a slight left bank. The aircraft truncated some small trees and made a heavy landing on a field. Both main gears collapsed and the engines were torn off in the subsequent skid. The fuselage however, remained intact. Ten occupants (all crewmembers) evacuated the aircraft. By the time the firemen arrived (6-7 minutes later) the fire had burned through the roof and there was no sign of life. Of the four unconscious occupants the firemen could evacuate, only one survived.

Probable Cause:

PROBABLE CAUSE: "A fire which appears to have started in the washbasin unit of the aft right toilet. It was detected because smoke had entered the adjacent left toilet. The fire may have been started by an electrical fault or by the carelessness of a passenger. The difficulty in locating the fire made the actions of cabin personnel ineffective. The flight crew did not have the facilities to intervene usefully from the cockpit against the spread of the fire and the invasion of smoke.
The lack of visibility in the cockpit prompted the crew to decided on a forced landing. At the time of touch-down the fire was confined to the area of the aft toilets. The occupants of the passenger cabin were poisoned, to varying degrees by carbon monoxide and other combustion products."

Accident investigation:
cover
Investigating agency: BEA
Status: Investigation completed
Duration: 2 years and 9 months
Accident number: Report pp-z730711
Download report: Final report

Sources:
» ICAO Circular 132-AN/93 (68-78)
» 'Varig 707 had a toilet fire', Flight International 17.04.1976 (995)


Opérations de secours

NTSB issued 4 Safety Recommendations

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Photos

photo of Boeing 707-345C PP-VJZ
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Plan
Ce plan montre l'aéroport de départ ainsi que la supposée destination du vol. La ligne fixe reliant les deux aéroports n'est pas le plan de vol exact.
La distance entre Rio de Janeiro-Galeão International Airport, RJ et Paris-Orly Airport est de 9119 km (5699 miles).
Accident location: Approximate; accuracy within a few kilometers.

Les informations ci-dessus ne représentent pas l'opinion de la 'Flight Safety Foundation' ou de 'Aviation Safety Network' sur les causes de l'accident. Ces informations prélimimaires sont basées sur les faits tel qu'ils sont connus à ce jour.
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