Date & Time: Nov 20, 1974 at 0754 LT
Type of aircraft:
Scheduled Revenue Flight
Frankfurt - Nairobi - Johannesburg
Crew on board:
Pax on board:
Captain / Total hours on type:
Copilot / Total hours on type:
Aircraft flight hours:
The four engine airplane named 'Hessen' lifted off from runway 24 at a speed of 145 knots. During initial climb, at a height of 100 feet, the airplane stalled and struck the ground 1,120 meters past the runway end. It flew again for about 114 meters then struck an embankment and crashed in flames 340 meters further. The aircraft was destroyed by impact forces and a post crash fire. 55 passengers and 4 crew members were killed while 98 other occupants were injured.
Wrong takeoff configuration on part of the flying crew. The accident was caused by the crew initiating a take-off with the leading edge flaps retracted because the pneumatic system which operates them had not been switched on. This resulted in the aircraft becoming airborne in a partially stalled condition which the pilots did not identify in the short time available to them for recovery. Major contributory factors were the lack of warning of a critical condition of leading edge flap position and the failure of the crew to complete satisfactorily their checklist items.