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Accident description
Last updated: 24 October 2017
Status:Final
Date:Wednesday 12 September 1951
Time:ca 12:30
Type:Silhouette image of generic DC3 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Douglas DC-3
Operator:Société de Transports Aériens Alpes Provence-STAAP
Registration: F-BEIZ
C/n / msn: 32733/15985
First flight: 1945
Engines: 2 Pratt & Whitney R-1830-90C
Crew:Fatalities: 3 / Occupants: 3
Passengers:Fatalities: 36 / Occupants: 36
Total:Fatalities: 39 / Occupants: 39
Airplane damage: Destroyed
Airplane fate: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Location:132 km (82.5 mls) W off Palma, Islas Baleares, Spain (   Mediterranean Sea)
Phase: En route (ENR)
Nature:International Scheduled Passenger
Departure airport:Perpignan Airport (PGF/LFMP), France
Destination airport:Oran-es Senia Airport (ORN/DAOO), Algeria
Narrative:
A Douglas DC-3 passenger plane, registered F-BEIZ, was destroyed when it crashed into the Mediterranean Sea. All 36 passengers and three crew members were killed.
In the morning of September 12, 1951 the captain filed an IFR flight plan for a direct flight from Perpignan Airport (PGF), France across the Mediterranean Sea to Oran-es Senia Airport (ORN) in Algeria. Planned en route altitude was 8000 feet and estimated flying time was 3 hours and 15 minutes. The en route weather forecast showed that a storm would be present in the area between the Balearic Island and the Spanish main land with possible cumulo-nimbus clouds with turbulence and hail.
The DC-3 took off at 10:45 from runway 13 at Perpignan Airport. The crew made several en route position reports and contacted a controller at Algiers at 12:26, requesting a descent from 8000 to 6000 feet. This was approved by the controller at 12:28. This was the last radio contact with the flight.
A search was initiated when the airplane failed to arrive at Oran. After a 4-day search several pieces of wreckage were found.

Probable Cause:

PROBABLE CAUSE: "Failure of airframe following loss of control in difficult weather conditions into which the pilot had flown the aircraft."

Accident investigation:
cover
Investigating agency: BEA
Status: Investigation completed
Accident number: Final report
Download report: Final report

Classification:
Thunderstorm
Loss of control

Sources:
» ICAO Circular 38-AN/33 (19-20)


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Map
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 Perpignan Airport to Oran-es Senia Airport as the crow flies is 841 km (525 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-3

  • ca 13.000 built
  • 2936th loss
  • 970th fatal accident
  • 2nd worst accident (at the time)
  • 5th worst accident (currently)
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 Mediterranean Sea
  • The worst accident (at the time)
  • 7th worst accident (currently)
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