UI McDonnell Douglas DC-10-30 N54629,
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ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 326212

Date:Tuesday 19 September 1989
Type:Silhouette image of generic DC10 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different    
McDonnell Douglas DC-10-30
Owner/operator:Union de Transports Aériens - UTA
Registration: N54629
MSN: 46852/125
Year of manufacture:1973
Total airframe hrs:60276 hours
Cycles:14777 flights
Engine model:General Electric CF6-50C2R
Fatalities:Fatalities: 170 / Occupants: 170
Aircraft damage: Destroyed, written off
Location:Ténéré desert -   Niger
Phase: En route
Nature:Passenger - Scheduled
Departure airport:N'Djamena Airport (NDJ/FTTJ)
Destination airport:Paris-Charles de Gaulle Airport (CDG/LFPG)
Investigating agency: BEA
Confidence Rating: Accident investigation report completed and information captured
The DC-10 was operating as UTA Flight 772 on a service from Brazzaville, Congo, to Paris via N'Djamena, Chad. The aircraft took off from N'Djamena at 13:13 and climbed to a cruising altitude of FL350.
At 13:59 an explosion occurred in a container at position 13R in the forward cargo hold. The explosion caused an overpressure in the cargo hold. Fragments of luggage, containers and pallets were blown away leading to holes on the left, right and underside of the fuselage. The cockpit then folded to the left side of the fuselage, and the aircraft broke up over the Ténéré desert.
The explosive device was most probably hidden in baggage, placed aboard at Brazzaville.
It was not immediately clear who was responsible for the attack. France obtained a confession from someone who claimed to have been involved. This lead to six Libyans being charged and tried in absentia. One of the persons being charges was the brother-in-law of Muammar Gaddafi, and deputy head of Libyan intelligence.
The motive would have been a retaliation for the French support of Chad in the Chadian-Libyan conflict (1978–1987).

- DC-10 flight UTA 772, Brazzaville N'Djamena - Paris, was destroyed by an explosion on 19 September 1989, forty-six minutes after take-off from N'Djamena, while cruising at flight level 350 in totally normal conditions.
- That destruction was due to an explosive charge placed in a container in location 13-R in the forward cargo hold.
- The Investigation Commission assert that the most plausible hypothesis is that the explosive charge was inside baggage loaded at Brazzaville Airport.
- Observations made shortly after the accident on Brazzaville Airport made it clear that, at that time, the airport security measures in force were not in accordance with the ICAO standards and recommended practices (Annex 17 to the Convention on International Civil Aviation and Civil Aviation Security
Manual (DOC 8973)).

Accident investigation:
Investigating agency: BEA
Report number: Report n-29890919
Status: Investigation completed
Download report: Final report


Les Familles de l'Attentat du DC10 d'UTA - Association française des Victimes du Terrorisme
ICAO Circular 262-AN/156 (195-202)



photo (c) via Werner Fischdick; Paris-Charles de Gaulle Airport (CDG); June 1988

photo (c) Manfred Winter; Paris-Le Bourget Airport (LBG/LFPB); 31 May 1973

Revision history:


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