Accident description
Last updated: 24 April 2014
Status:Final
Date:Wednesday 20 November 1974
Time:07:54
Type:Boeing 747-130
Operator:Lufthansa
Registration: D-ABYB
C/n / msn: 19747/29
First flight: 1970-03-30 (4 years 8 months)
Total airframe hrs:16781
Engines: 4 Pratt & Whitney JT9D-7
Crew:Fatalities: 4 / Occupants: 17
Passengers:Fatalities: 55 / Occupants: 140
Total:Fatalities: 59 / Occupants: 157
Airplane damage: Damaged beyond repair
Location:Nairobi International Airport (NBO) (   Kenya) show on map
Phase: Takeoff (TOF)
Nature:International Scheduled Passenger
Departure airport:Nairobi International Airport (NBO/HKNA), Kenya
Destination airport:Johannesburg International Airport (JNB/FAJS), South Africa
Flightnumber: 540
Narrative:
Boeing 747 D-ABYB was taking off for the last leg of the Frankfurt (FRA) - Nairobi (NBO) - Johannesburg (JNB) flight when the crew felt vibration or buffeting following lift off. The captain, suspecting wheel imbalance, raised the gear. A lack of acceleration forced the crew to lower the nose in order to maintain airspeed. The Boeing continued to descend however and contacted the ground 1120m past the end of runway 24 and struck an elevated road 114m further on. The aircraft broke up and caught fire before coming to rest 454m past the initial point of impact.

PROBABLE CAUSE: "The accident was caused by the crew initiating a take-off with the leading edge flaps retracted because the pneumatic system which operates them had not been switched on. This resulted in the aircraft becoming airborne in a partially stalled condition which the pilots did not identify in the short time available to them for recovery. Major contributory factors were the lack of warning of a critical condition of leading edge flap position and the failure of the crew to complete satisfactorily their checklist items."

Events:


Sources:
» Flight International 28.08.1976 (481)
» ICAO Circular 132-AN/93 (181-194)


Photos

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Map
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 Nairobi International Airport to Johannesburg International Airport as the crow flies is 2898 km (1812 miles).

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