48 Reported Dead In Crash Friday, Nov 22 2013 

Transcribed from the Indianapolis Star, Indianapolis, IN, January 6, 1947, pages 1, 16:

48 Reported Dead In Crash

China Grounds All Commercial Planes

Shanghai, Jan. 5 (AP) — A Chinese airliner piloted by an American crashed near Tsingtao today and unconfirmed reports said all 43 persons aboard were killed.

The Chinese Ministry of Communications immediately ordered all Chinese commercial planes grounded for one week pending investigation of the crash and of the three which killed 71 persons near Shanghai Christmas night.

Chinese National Aviation Corporation, operators of the C-46 which was wrecked today, declined any information but other sources said passengers included two American Catholic nuns, Sister Elizabeth Lucille of the Order of Providence, native of Indianapolis, Ind., and Sister Jerilla of the Franciscan Mission to Egypt.

The pilot was identified as Charles J. Sharkey, Lawrence, Mass.

Search planes spotted the wreckage a few hours later in a horseshoe-shaped plain in Communist-controlled territory amid the Shantung Mountains west of Tsingtao. They were unable to determine whether there were any survivors. United States Navy planes based at Tsingtao participated in the search.

The plane, bound from Shanghai to Peiping via Tsingtao, was reported within 40 minutes of its Tsingtao landing when the crash occurred.

Dispatches from Tsingtao said rescue operations were hampered by inability to enter Communist territory.

Besides the American pilot and nuns, late reports said there were 36 Chinese passengers and four Chinese crew members aboard.

Four of the passengers were described as delegates en route home from the recent constitutional convention in Nanking.

Cause of the crash had not been determined.

Sharkey, veteran of the Royal Canadian Air Force, had been a pilot for the Chinese airline for several years.

A communications ministry spokesman in Nanking said, “The ministry takes a serious view of these accidents. In order to fix responsibility and permit overhaul of all equipment, a one-week suspension of all flights is ordered.”

This halts operations of Chinese National Aviation Corporation and Central Air Transport Corporation, both government-controlled companies whose transports have been the only links between the national capital and many areas otherwise isolated totally by the civil war.


Brazilian Jetliner Crashes Near Paris, Killing 124 Tuesday, Nov 17 2009 

Transcribed from St. Petersburg Times, St. Petersburg, FL, July 12, 1973, p. 1:

Brazilian Jetliner Crashes Near Paris, Killing 124

Witness helped survivors, 17-A


PARIS (AP) — A Brazillian jetliner crashed in flames six miles short of Orly Airport Thursday, killing 124 of the 131 persons aboard, authorities said.

Authorities said all of the 119 passengers and five of the 12 crewmembers were killed and that all of the bodies were found in the burned-out remains of the aircraft.

THE PLANE, a Varig Airlines Boeing 707, radioed an SOS fire report to the control tower seconds before it plowed into an onion patch in suburban Sauix-les-Chartreux.

The seven surviving crewmembers included the pilot, Capt. Gilberto da Silva, and a hostess, Andrea Piha. Three of the survivors were reported in critical condition.

The plane flew from Sao Paulo, Brazil, with stops in Rio de Janeiro and Lisbon, Portugal. Officials said most of the dead were victims of the fire, rather than the crash.

THE DEAD INCLUDED Filinto Muller, president of Brazil’s Arena party, which represents the nation’s ruling military. He was also president of the Brazilian Senate.

Authorities said apparently none of the dead was American.

The plane was just six miles short of its destination at Orly after the 6,000-mile flight from Brazil.

“A MINUTE and a half more and the Boeing could have landed in safety, perhaps saving all the passengers,” said Jean-Francois Frerot, the control tower chief at Orly.

The wingtips and four engines were ripped off when the plane crashed. Flames spilling from the aircraft prevented farmhands from getting near the wreckage to rescue those inside.

The pilot’s call to the Orly control tower, announcing “fire on board,” came after Flight 820 reported engine trouble, airport spokesmen said. An alert was sounded, but was almost immediately supplanted by a full-scale crash warning when the pilot radioed moments later that his plane was aflame.

THE AIRPORT said the pilot asked for permission to crash-land and was told to make a wrong-way landing on a take-off strip.

The runway was cleared, but the jetliner never reached Orly. The French national police said it crashed on its belly slightly less than 15 minutes after the first report of trouble.

Dawn Search After Peru’s Air Disaster Tuesday, Nov 17 2009 

Transcribed from The Sydney Morning Herald, Sydney, Australia, November 29, 1962, p. 3:

Dawn Search After Peru’s Air Disaster


LIMA, PERU, Nov. 28 (A.A.P.-Reuter).–Rescue workers at dawn today resumed the task of identifying the bodies of 97 people killed yesterday in the crash of a Brazillian Boeing-707 airliner, near Lima.

There were no survivors when the Boeing hit a 2,000 ft hill at Atocongo, 12 miles south of Lima, and burst into flames.

Doctors, nurses and police who climbed the steep, rock-bound hillside to the disaster scene found most victims burnt or mutilated beyond recognition.

Bodies and debris were scattered over a smoke-blackened area about 200 yards square.

The huge tail section was on the edge of a peak overlooking desert wastes.

A baby’s shoe lay nearby. Not for [sic] away was a broken gramophone record of a Brazilian samba.

The airliner, with 80 passengers and a crew of 17, was flying from Rio De Janeiro, Brazil, bound for Lima, Peru, Bogota, Colombia, Panama City and Mexico City to Los Angeles, California. Ten bodies were brought into Lima before nightfall last night, including that of the Peruvian Minister of Agriculture, General J. Melgar, who was identified by a bracelet.

Other victims included 18 Americans and all 10 members of a Cuban delegation to a regional meeting of the U.N. Food and Agricultural Organisation at Rio de Janeiro. Among them was the president of the Cuban National Bank, Mr. R. C. Bonnila.

The Boeing’s owners, Varig Airlines, said the crew were Brazilians except for a German steward and a French stewardess.

According to news agency reports, 82 people on four continents were killed in air crashes earlier this week.

Associated Press says five Boeings had crashed with the loss of 416 lives before yesterday’s disaster.

The worst single commercial plane disaster in history was on June 3 last year when an Air France 707 crashed at orly airport near Paris, killing 130 persons, mostly American tourists. Two hostesses survived.

Plane Hits Hill, Explodes While Landing In Storm Tuesday, Nov 17 2009 

Transcribed from The Blade, Toledo, OH, June 22, 1962, p. 1:

Plane Hits Hill, Explodes While Landing In Storm


POINTE-A-PITRE, Guadeloupe, June 22 (AP)–An Air France Boeing 707 jetliner with 113 persons aboard crashed during a predawn storm while coming in for a landing on this Caribbean island today. All aboard perished: 103 passengers, including 7 children and 4 babies, and 10 crew members.

Search crews who circled the wreckage of the jet by air reported it had exploded on impact with a hill and that the debris, scattered over nearly a mile, had burned.

The $5.5-million plane was on a flight from Paris to Santiago, Chile.

The U.S. Coast Guard said the air traffic control center at Pointe-a-Pitre airport reported the big jet had been cleared for its final approach when its radio went dead.


A small local plane later spotted the wreckage 2 1/2 miles inland from the north coast of the Basse Terre section of Guadeloupe, the coast guard said.

The pilot had radioed that he was making a visual approach to the field.

James Welsh, head of the U.S. Information Agency in Guadeloupe, flew over the wreckage in his private plane.

“There’s nothing left of it,” he said. “It was a terrible sight. Wreckage seem to be scattered over the whole mountain.”

Guadeloupe police dispatched rescue crews to the site and French helicopters sped there from Martinique.


The crash occurred at about 3:25 a.m., the hour the plane was due to land at Guadeloupe on a flight from Santa Maria, the Azores.

First word that the airliner was in trouble came at came at [sic] 6:19 a.m., when the coast guard received this message: “Distress, Air France flight 117, B707, overdue . . .”

An all-ships distress signal was flashed to naval vessels, asking them to proceed to the area. Two coast guard amphibious planes and a patrol boat were dispatched from San Juan.
Guadeloupe is composed of two islands, Basse Terre and Grande Terre. The airfield is on Grande Terre. The plane crashed on Basse Terre.

The plane had 10 crew members and 012 passengers aboard on take-off from Paris last night. It made a stop at Lisbon and several passengers left and other boarded.

The plane was to have flown on to Caracas, Bogota and Lima, terminating its flight at Santiago.


Capt. Andre Lesieur, one of Air France’s most experienced pilots, who was at the controls, several times had flown President Charles De Gaulle.

It was the fifth crash involving a passenger-carrying Boeing 707 in commercial service. A 707 of the Belgian Airline Sabena crashed Feb. 15, 1961 at Brussels, killing 73. An American Airlines crash at New York last March 1 killed 55. A Continental Airlines 707 with 45 aboard disintegrated and crashed near Unionville, Mo., May 25. An Air France charter, flying a group of Atlantans home, crashed at Paris June 3, killing 130.

Guadeloupe is an overseas department of France in the Leeward Islands, 300 miles southeast of San Juan and 80 miles north of Martinique.

112 Die as Jet Crashes In French West Indies Forest Tuesday, Nov 17 2009 

Transcribed from Rome News-Tribune, Rome, GA, June 22, 1962, p 1,2:

112 Die as Jet Crashes In French West Indies Forest

No Survivors Reported as Air France Suffers 2nd Major Tragedy in Month


SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico (UPI)–An Air France Boeing jetliner with 112 persons aboard crashed and burned in a tropic forest on Gueadeloupe in the French West Indies early today as the pilot attempted to land at Le Raizet airport in a rainstorm.

A local pilot, first to reach the scene of the crash, reported that he saw no survivors in the widely scattered, smoking wreckage 2 1/2 miles inland from the north coast of Basse-Terre island, one of two islands making up the Guadeloupe group. Air France reported 102 passengers and 10 crew members aboard.

It was the second Boeing 707 crash in 19 days. Another Air France 707 crashed at Orly Airport near Paris on June 3, killing 130 persons.

Guadeloupe is 300 miles southeast of Puerto Rico and 600 miles northeast of the Venezuelan coast. The plane, Flight 117 named Chateau de Chantilly, was en route from Paris to Santiago, Chile, when it crashed while attempting to make a scheduled stop.


Air France said the pilot, Capt. Andre Lesieur, reported a low cloud ceiling and heavy rain has the plane approached the airport near Point-a-Pitre on the flat northern coast of Guadeloupe, well away from the rugged mountain peaks. He was reported to have tried to bring the plane in visually rather than relying on radio instrument guidance.

Lesieur was one of Air France’s most experienced commanders. He frequently served as pilot for President Charles de Gaulle.

The crash occurred 19 days after an Air France 707 crashed on takeoff in Paris, killing 130 persons including many prominent Atlanta residents, and exactly a month after a Continental Airlines 707 crashed near Centerville, Iowa with a loss of 45 lives. Two other 707 crashes in the last 16 months took 167 lives.

The plane left Paris’ Orly Airport Thursday at 4:18 p.m. EST, and made scheduled stops at Lisbon and at Santa Maria in the Azores.

It was cleared for a final approach to Guadeloupe’s airport on the island’s north coast when the crash occurred, according to Air France.

The U.S. Coast Guard said the pilot was flying visually when the plane smashed into the lush tropic forest 2 1/2 miles from the beach at Eshayes.

The plane burned and thick smoke clouds were reported billowing from the wreckage. A local pilot said parts of the wrecked plane were scattered over a wide area.


The crash occurred around 12:25 a.m. EST, the scheduled arrival time at Le Raizet airport at Pointe-a-Pitre. The wreckage was first sighted about 3 a.m.

The plane had been scheduled for stops at Caracas, Venezuela; Bogota, Colombia; Lima, Peru; and Santiago, Chile, after leaving Guadeloupe.

Guadeloupe is one of the island paradises in the Leeward Island chain that have recently become the playground of American tourists. The western of the two islands forming Guadeloupe is peaked with cloud shrouded mountains and lush growth. The eastern island is flat and has many plantations.

Toll Reaches 113: Experts Probe Plane Disaster Tuesday, Nov 17 2009 

Transcribed from Eugene Register-Guard, Eugene, OR, June 23, 1962, p1:

Experts Probe Plane Disaster

Toll Reaches 113


Of the Associated Press

POINTE-A-PITRE, Guadeloupe — French and American aviation experts converged today on a scorched swatch of tropical rain jungle where an Air France Boeing 707 jetliner crashed in a raging thunderstorm after reporting landing gear trouble. All 113 persons aboard were killed.

Police blocked off the crash scene until representatives of the U. S. Civil Aeronautics Board and Federal Aviation Agency teamed with French air experts from Paris to inspect wreckage of the second worst single-plane disaster in commercial aviation history.

The four-engine airliner smashed into a hill and burst into flames on this French Caribbean island early Friday shortly after winging over Pointe-A-Pitre’s Raizet Airfield in the start of a landing approach after a flight from Paris.

Minutes later, the control tower radar lost contact at about the same time explosions in the distance were noted. The explosions were taken by some as thunder.

But after daylight searchers spotted the wreckage on Mule’s Back Hill 18 miles from the field.

The plane slammed into the hill about 500 feet below its 2,000-foot crest, off the usual landing approach pattern. The pilot of another Air France liner here blamed the crash on the thunderstorm, saying, “the ceiling was very low.”

The fiery crash scattered wreckage over more than a mile of the thick undergrowth.

The Air France office in Paris again revised the figure Saturday, to 113 dead. A recheck of the Friday turned up an additional passenger, making the total passenger list 103, an airline spokesman said, along with the 10 crew members.

This toll in a single-plane crash was exceeded only by the crash of another Air France Boeing 707 jet early this month which killed 130 persons, including 121 Americans.

The big Boeing jetliners have been involved in five commercial airline crashes killing a total of 303 persons in the past 17 months.

Soviet plane crash killed 160 Monday, Nov 16 2009 

Transcribed from Boca Raton News, Boca Raton, FL, October 15, 1972, p. 2:

Soviet plane crash kills 160


MOSCOW (UPI) — An Aeroflot Il62 airliner carrying about 160 persons on a non-scheduled flight from Paris via Leningrad crashed Friday night near Sheremetyevo airport, killing all aboard, the official Tass news agency and Western airline sources said Saturday.

The crash was one of the worst in civil airline history and the second involving the Soviet state airline in 12 days.

Tass, in an announcement moved on its English service wires at 3 p.m. (8 a.m. EDT) today said:

“A passenger airliner which was on its way from Leningrad to Moscow crashed in the area of Sheremetyevo Airport on Oct. 13 at 9:50 p.m., it is announced here.

“Both the passengers and the crew lost their lives. A government commission has been appointed to investigate the cause of the disaster.”

Western airline sources identified the plane as an ILyushin 62 jetliner, which went into Aeroflot’s international service in 1967.

The sources said the plane crashed about seven miles from the airport, Moscow’s main international air terminal.

Weather at the time of the crash was rainy and visibility was restricted.

A French embassy spokesman said he had no information about the crash.

The Tass announcement was unusual because Soviet news media do not usually report such disasters. When they do, it is generally long after the fact.

Today’s crash came exactly two months after an IL62 jetliner belonging to the East German airline Interflug crashed shortly after take-off from East Berlin’s Schoenefeld airport, killing 156 persons. It was the worst single-plane disaster in world aviation history.

The worst airline disaster happened July 31, 1971, in Japan when a jet fighter and a Japanese Boeing 727 collided, killing 162 persons.

Jet Crashes into Mt. Fuji; All 124 Dead Monday, Nov 16 2009 

Transcribed from The Evening Independent, St. Petersburg, FL, March 5, 1966, p. 1:

Jet Crashes Into Mt. Fuji; All 124 Dead


TOKYO (AP) — A British Overseas Airways Corp. Boeing 707 jetliner slammed into the slopes below Mt. Fuji today and Japanese officials said all 124 persons were killed. There were indications of a collision in the air.

Eighty-one Americans were reported on the plane.

Reliable military sources, who declined to be named, said they understood a Japanese military plane had collided with the British craft. Japanese defense forces said they had no report of a collision.

Eyewitnesses said the plane was aflame before it crashed. The weather was good.

Police at Gotemba, near Mt. Fuji, about 70 miles south of Tokyo declined to comment on the collision report and said the crash was now under formal investigation.

It was the second jetliner crash in Japan in less than 24 hours and the third in the past month. If no survivors are found in today’s crash, the combined death toll would be 321.

Sixty-four of the 72 persons aboard a Canadian Pacific Airlines DC8 were killed yesterday when the plane crashed and burned after it snagged on the approach lights at Tokyo’s International Airport and hit a concrete retaining wall.

The crash of a Japanese Boeing 727 jet into Tokyo Bay a month ago was the world’s worst single air disaster. It claimed 133 lives. A helicopter searching for some of the bodies that are still missing crashed today, killing two.

A Tokyo travel agency said most of the Americans aboard the British plane were dealers of the Thermo King Corp. of Minneapolis, who were on a tour with their wives.

Floridians aboard the plane were Mr. and Mrs. Harold Carter of Orlando, Mr. and Mrs. James Walker of Miami and Mr. and Mrs. William C. Weaver of Miami.

The big jetliner arrived in Japan from San Francisco yesterday but was diverted some 600 miles south of Tokyo because of heavy fog. The plane and passengers spent the night at the U.S. Itzuke military base and then flew into Tokyo today under cloudless skies.

Airline officials said 106 of the 119 passengers boarded the flight in Tokyo while the others came from San Francisco. Ninety-six were bound for Hong Kong, eight for Rangoon, Burma, one for Karachi, Pakistan, and one for London.

The plane took off from Tokyo at 1:58 p.m. (11:58 p.m. EST). Police at Gotemba said it crashed about 2:10 p.m. (12:10 a.m. EST).

For more than two hours airline officials in Tokyo refused to confirm that one of their planes had crashed but finally announced the crash of Flight 911 at a news conference. They said an investigation team was en route to the scene.

At least 119 bodies were recovered from the wreckage which was strewn in smoking heaps for several miles, authorities said.

Witnesses at the crash site said the bulk of the plane was lying in a crumpled mass. The fuselage, split down the middle, came to rest on top of the smoking wreckage. More pieces, which appeared to be part of the fuselage or a wing, lay scattered beyond.

A sentry at a U.S. Marine camp at Gotemba said he saw flames coming from the plane as it passed above him. Seconds later it plunged to earth, he said.

Jet Crashes in Spain Thursday, Oct 22 2009 

Transcribed from The Ruston Daily Leader, Ruston, Louisiana, 13 August 1973, p.1:

Jet Crashes in Spain

No Hope Given for Survivors


LA CORUNA, Spain (UPI) – A Caravelle airliner of the Spanish Aviaco Air Company exploded in flight today while the pilot was making his fourth landing approach to La Coruna’s cloud-shrouded mountaintop airport and fell in flames on a village below, an airline spokesman reported.

The airline said all 85 persons aboard the twin jet aircraft were believed dead and there were reports that as many as five inhabitants of the village of Montrove also were killed. Of the night itself, the airline said there is “no hope of survivors.”

Because of the confusion at the village crash site and the dense clouds and rains there were conflicting reports. Police in La Coruna said rescue operations were still underway and it was not definitely known yet whether there were survivors and whether any villagers had been killed.

A spokesman for La Coruna airport and Spanish news reports said at least one person survived the plane crash. The news agency Europa Press said five inhabitants of the village of Montrove also were killed.

Aviaco said the Caravelle jet carried 79 passengers and a crew of six.

An airport spokesman said it crashed on its fourth attempt to land in bad weather. Cifro reported the pilot had been told shortly before by the control tower that visibility had dropped below minimum levels.

The plane, on a scheduled flight from Madrid, made three attempts to land at La Coruna and had just started to circle the cloud-shrouded airport once again when it apparently exploded in the air, the spokesman said.

Most of its wreckage fell on an abandoned farm house in the village of Montrove, four miles from the airport.

The airport spokesman said radio contact with the plane broke off without any indication of anything being wrong with the plane, apart from Captain Lopez Pascual’s apparent difficulties of landing the craft under the prevailing bad conditions.

Cifra said the crash happened after visibility at the airport had dropped below minimum levels, and that Pascual was informed of the condition.

Most passengers aboard the plane appeared to be vacationers. La Coruna is one of three airports serving the northwestern Galicia Provinces and its seaside resorts. The illfated flight, AV-118, is a special vacation flight run daily by Aviaco during the summer season.

Cifra said one of the two injured persons found al the site of the disaster might have been a villager.

The plane left Madrid at 9:14 a.m., more than an hour late for the 6O-minute flight. The crash happened an hour later.

La Coruna airport was closed down to all incoming traffic after the crash.

Cifra said members of a Barcelona swimming club (Club Natacion Barcelona) were aboard the plane flying to a swimming meet in La Coruna.

The crash was Aviaco’s second this year. Another of its two engine Caravelles crashed into the sea near the Azores Islands on a training flight last spring, killing all three crew members abroad.

Two other Spanish airliners, a scheduled Iberia DC9 and a chartered Spantax Coronado, collided over France during an air controlers strike in spring killing 68. Last December, another Spanlax Coronado crashed on takeoff from Santa Cruz de Tenerife killing all 155 persons aboard in Spain’s worst air disaster.