ASN Aircraft accident Douglas DC-4-1009 HB-ILA Tora-Tonga
ASN logo
Date:Sunday 15 May 1960
Time:19:57 UTC
Type:Silhouette image of generic DC4 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Douglas DC-4-1009
Registration: HB-ILA
MSN: 43072
First flight: 1946
Crew:Fatalities: 12 / Occupants: 12
Passengers:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 0
Total:Fatalities: 12 / Occupants: 12
Aircraft damage: Damaged beyond repair
Location:near Tora-Tonga (   Sudan)
Phase: En route (ENR)
Departure airport:Khartoum-Civil Airport (KRT/HSSS), Sudan
Destination airport:Niamey Airport (NIM/DRRN), Niger
The Balair DC-4 flew into a slope of the Djebel Marr mountains while cruising at 8000 feet.
The airplane was operating on a ferry flight from Jeddah, Saudi Arabia to Dakar, Senegal.

Probable Cause:

PROBABLE CAUSE: "1) The fact that the aircraft progressed actually at an average ground speed of at least 200-205kts while the crew believed they were proceeding with no more than 175-178kts as estimated before takeoff. 2) That a slight directional difference of 2 or 3 degrees may have existed between the calculated track and the actual flight path. 3) That these two navigation inaccuracies could build up during a flight of 2,5h and could eventually result in a position error of about 70nm to the west and about 30nm to the south. 4) That for reasons unknown to the Board the position report given for 1906Z and apparently established on the base of an astronomical fix must have been inaccurate and that the crew were, therefore, not able to be conscious of the discrepancies between the dead-reckoning and their actual position. 5) That the aircraft flying at 8000ft hit a slope of the Djebel Marra mountains four minutes before the crew expected to be overhead the El Fasher beacon where they would have begun the climb to 12000ft and when, in their belief the aircraft should have been still more than 60 NM away from these mountains."

Navigational error
Controlled Flight Into Terrain (CFIT) - Mountain


photo of Douglas-DC-4-1009-HB-ILA
accident date: 15-05-1960
type: Douglas DC-4-1009
registration: HB-ILA

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 Khartoum-Civil Airport to Niamey Airport as the crow flies is 3256 km (2035 miles).
Accident location: Approximate; accuracy within a few kilometers.

This information is not presented as the Flight Safety Foundation or the Aviation Safety Network’s opinion as to the cause of the accident. It is preliminary and is based on the facts as they are known at this time.
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Douglas DC-4

  • 1242 built
  • 227th loss
  • 134th fatal accident
  • 65th worst accident (at the time)
  • 86th worst accident (currently)
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  • 3rd worst accident (at the time)
  • 12th worst accident (currently)
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