ASN Aircraft accident Nord 262A-34 44/F-RBOA Mézilhac
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Date:Thursday 21 January 1971
Type:Silhouette image of generic N262 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Nord 262A-34
Operator:L'Armée de L'Air
Registration: 44/F-RBOA
MSN: 44
First flight: 1968
Engines: 2 Turbomeca Bastan VI-C1
Crew:Fatalities: 4 / Occupants: 4
Passengers:Fatalities: 17 / Occupants: 17
Total:Fatalities: 21 / Occupants: 21
Aircraft damage: Damaged beyond repair
Location:2,5 km (1.6 mls) S of Mézilhac (   France)
Phase: En route (ENR)
Departure airport:Villacoublay/Vélizy Airport (VIY/LFPV), France
Destination airport:Orange-Caritat Air Base (BA 115) (XOG/LFMO), France
Crashed in a blizzard in mountainous terrain. The airplane flew into the side of Suc de Pradou, a 1342 m high mountain and came to rest 200 m below the summit. Seven of France's top nuclear weapons experts were killed.
The crew had been cleared by Marseilles ACC at FL 80 to the Montelimar (MTL) VOR and FL50 afterwards. FL80 was the minimum safe altitude level between CMF (Clermont Ferrand) and MTL. Controllers at the time considered it possible that the pilot might have retained the FL50 as the final clearance and had disregarded the initial FL80 instruction.


» Drames aeriens dans le departement de l´Ardèche


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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 Villacoublay/Vélizy Airport to Orange-Caritat Air Base (BA 115) as the crow flies is 550 km (344 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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Nord 262

  • 111 built
  • 2nd loss
  • 2nd fatal accident
  • 2nd worst accident (at the time)
  • 3rd worst accident (currently)
» safety profile

  • 23rd worst accident (at the time)
  • 35th worst accident (currently)
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