Accident description
Last updated: 1 November 2014
Status:Final
Date:Monday 19 December 1994
Time:18:06 UTC
Type:Silhouette image of generic B703 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Boeing 707-3F9C
Operator:Nigeria Airways
Registration: 5N-ABK
C/n / msn: 20669/864
First flight: 1972
Total airframe hrs:31477
Engines: 4 Pratt & Whitney JT3D-3C
Crew:Fatalities: 1 / Occupants: 3
Passengers:Fatalities: 2 / Occupants: 2
Total:Fatalities: 3 / Occupants: 5
Airplane damage: Damaged beyond repair
Location:near Kiri Kasama (   Nigeria) show on map
Phase: En route (ENR)
Nature:Cargo
Departure airport:Jeddah-King Abdulaziz International Airport (JED/OEJN), Saudi Arabia
Destination airport:Kano-Aminu Kano International Airport (KAN/DNKN), Nigeria
Flightnumber:9805
Narrative:
The aircraft was on a cargo flight from Jeddah (JED) to Kano (KAN). The total cargo uplift was 35 tonnes packed in 13 pallets and some loose bundles of merchandise that were loaded in the lower cargo hold.
The departure from Jeddah was delayed for thirteen hours because of problems starting the nr.4 engine. The Boeing 707 departed at 13:48 UTC.
As the aircraft approached N'Djamena at Flight Level 350, about 17:00 UTC, the flight engineer noted a strange smell in the cockpit. The ground engineer and the load-master who were sitting in the cargo compartment area of the aircraft confirmed that the smell had persisted for a while around them.
It appeared that the area around pallet number 11 was misty. The pallet was sprayed with a fire extinguisher and the smoke evacuation procedure was carried out. This stopped the fumes temporarily. The aircraft was now halfway between N'Djamena and Kano with about 40 minutes flight time to go. At 18:00 the flight was cleared to descend. Then the Master Warning sounded, followed one minute later by a Fire Warning. Smoke entered the cabin. A descent was initiated with a descent rate close to 3000 feet per minute. Later the pitch trims became ineffective before the aircraft crashed into marshland. Tire ground marks at the scene of the accident indicated that the aircraft must have descended very slowly into the elephant grass and may have somersaulted on contact with the water, then exploded and disintegrated along the wreckage trail.


PROBABLE CAUSE: "The probable cause of this accident was a heat generating substance that was hidden in a cargo of fabrics inside pallet No. 11 in the cargo compartment of the aircraft. The heat that emanated from the pallet resulted in smoke that caused a major distraction in the cockpit and later caused an explosion which seriously impaired the flight controls of the aircraft."

Classification:
Distraction in cockpit

Loss of control

Sources:
» Flight International 4-10.1.95(4)


Follow-up / safety actions

Min of Aviation issued 6 Safety Recommendations

Show all AD's and Safety Recommendations

Photos

photo of Boeing 707-3F9C 5N-ABK
photo of Boeing 707-3F9C 5N-ABK
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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 Jeddah-King Abdulaziz International Airport to Kano-Aminu Kano International Airport as the crow flies is 3403 km (2127 miles).

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Boeing 707

  • 136th loss
  • 858 built
  • 58th worst accident (at the time)
  • 63rd worst accident (currently)
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 Nigeria
  • 23rd worst accident (at the time)
  • 37th worst accident (currently)
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