Accident
Last updated: 2 September 2014
Statuts:Enquête Officielle
Date:jeudi 25 décembre 2003
Heure:14:59
Type/Sous-type:Silhouette image of generic B722 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Boeing 727-223
Compagnie:Union des Transports Africains de Guinée
Immatriculation: 3X-GDO
Numéro de série: 21370/1276
Année de Fabrication: 1977-06-29 (26 years 6 months)
Heures de vol:67186
Cycles:40452
Moteurs: 3 Pratt & Whitney JT8D-9A (HK3)
Equipage:victimes: 5 / à bord: 10
Passagers:victimes: 136 / à bord: 153
Total:victimes: 141 / à bord: 163
Dégats de l'appareil: Détruit
Conséquences: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Lieu de l'accident:Cotonou Airport (COO) (   Bénin) show on map
Élévation des lieux de l'accident: 6 m (20 feet) amsl
Phase de vol: Au décollage (TOF)
Nature:Transport de Passagers Intern.
Aéroport de départ:Cotonou Airport (COO/DBBB), Bénin
Aéroport de destination:Kufrah Airport (AKF/HLKF), Libye
Numéro de vol: 141
Détails:
Union des Transports Africains de Guinée operated two flights a week from Conakry, Guinea to Beirut and Dubai with their newly acquired ex-American Airlines Boeing 727. On December 25, UTA Flight 141 departed Conakry, Guinea for a scheduled flight to Beirut, Lebanon with a planned intermediate stop at Cotonou, Benin and a planned technical stop at Kufrah, Libya. The flight departed at 10:07 carrying 86 passengers and a crew of 10. It arrived at Cotonou at 12:25 were nine passengers disembarked. A total of 63 persons checked in at the airport check-in desk. Ten others boarded from an aircraft that had arrived from Lomé, Togo. Passenger boarding and baggage loading took place in a climate of great confusion. The airplane was full and it is thought that there were more passengers aboard the plane than had officially checked in. In the cockpit, two UTA executives were occupying the jump seats. Faced with the particularly large number and size of the hand baggage, the chief flight attendant informed the Captain of the situation. Meanwhile the ground handling company’s agents began loading the baggage in the aft hold when one of the operator’s agents asked them to continue loading in the forward hold, which already contained baggage. When the operation was finished, the hold was full. During this time, the crew prepared the airplane for the second flight segment. The co-pilot was discussing his concerns with the UTA executives, reminding them of the importance of determining the precise weight of the loading of the airplane. The Captain determined the limitations for the flight and selected the following configuration: flaps 25°, air conditioning units shut down.
At 13:47, the crew began the pre-flight checklist. Calm was restored in the cockpit. At 13:52, they were cleared to roll. The co-pilot was pilot flying (PF). The elevator was set at 6 3/4, it was stated that the takeoff would be performed with full power applied with brakes on, followed by a climb at three degrees maximum to gain speed, with no turn after landing gear retraction. As the roll was beginning, a flight attendant informed the cockpit that passengers who wanted to sit near their friends were still standing and did not want to sit down. The airline’s Director General called the people in the cabin to order.
It was warm outside at a temperature of 32 deg. C with a light breeze as the flight received permission to takeoff from runway 24. Runway 06/24 is an asphalt runway, measuring 2400 (7874 feet) meters with a 55m (180 feet) overrun zone.
At 13:58:01 the thrust levers were advanced. Fourteen seconds later the brakes were released and the 727 accelerated down the runway. Forty-six seconds after brake release the captain announced V1 and VR speeds. At that moment the aircraft was 1620 m down the runway at a speed of 137 kts. The copilot tried to rotate the plane, but seven seconds later, at a speed of 148 kts and 2100 m down the runway, the nose just slowly rose. The 727 barely climbed, causing the main undercarriage to strike localizer antennas. It then struck the roof of a 2-3 meters high small building housing radio equipment. The operator inside the building suffered injuries. The plane continued, smashed through the concrete airport boundary fence, crashed and broke up on the shoreline.
The exact number of occupants and fatalities could not be established with certainty. It is thought that 133 passengers died in the crash with an additional three people of which it was not possible to establish if they were passengers or passers-by on the beach. Most probably however, they were passengers.


CAUSES:
L’accident résulte d’une cause directe :
- la difficulté rencontrée par l’équipage pour effectuer la rotation avec un avion excessivement chargé dont il ignorait le centrage avant ;
et de deux causes structurelles :
- les graves insuffisances de compétence, d’organisation et de documentation réglementaire de l’exploitant qui ne lui ont permis ni d’organiser correctement l’exploitation de la ligne ni de contrôler le chargement de l’avion ;
- l’insuffisance des contrôles exercés par l’administration de l’aviation civile de Guinée, et, avant elle, par celle du Swaziland, dans le cadre de la supervision de la sécurité.
Les facteurs suivants ont pu contribuer à l’accident:
- le besoin de liaisons aériennes avec Beyrouth des importantes communautés d’origine libanaise en Afrique de l’Ouest ;
- la dispersion des responsabilités effectives entre les différents acteurs, et en particulier le rôle joué par le propriétaire de l’avion, qui ont compliqué les contrôles ;
- le non-recours par l’exploitant, à Conakry et Cotonou, à des sociétés de service pour la fourniture de l’état de chargement de l’avion ;
- l’acceptation par le commandant de bord d’entreprendre le décollage avec un avion pour lequel il n’avait pu établir le bilan de masse ;
- la faible longueur relative de la piste de Cotonou ;
- l’heure, particulièrement chaude, choisie pour le départ du vol ;
- les marges importantes, notamment en matière de masse de l’avion, qui paraissaient exister à tort, du fait de l’emploi d’un document incorrect pour l’établissement du devis de masse et centrage ;
- l’existence d’un bâtiment non frangible, cent dix-huit mètres après le seuil de piste.

Sources:
» AFP
» BEA
» Boeing
» Le Matinal Online
» Reuters

Official accident investigation report
investigating agency: Bureau d'Enquêtes et d'Analyses (BEA) - France
report status: Final
report number: Report 3x-o031225
download report: Report 3x-o031225
cover

Photos

photo of Boeing 727-223 3X-GDO
Add your photo of this accident or aircraft
 

Plan
Ce plan montre l'aéroport de départ ainsi que la supposé destination du vol. La ligne fixe reliant les deux aéroports n'est pas le plan de vol exact.
La distance entre Cotonou Airport et Kufrah Airport est de 2970 km (1856 miles).

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