Narrative:The DC-4 took off from Francistown runway 11 at 02:32. The engine temperatures started to rise, even after opening the gills. When temperatures exceeded the limit, the engines started backfiring. A left hand circuit was made to return to the airport, but the aircraft kept descending and crash-landed 3600m short of the runway. The aircraft struck some trees and burst into flames.
|Date:||04 APR 1974|
|Operator:||Wenela Air Services|
|C/n / msn:|| 27242|
|First flight:|| 1944|
|Crew:||Fatalities: 3 / Occupants: 4|
|Passengers:||Fatalities: 75 / Occupants: 80|
|Total:||Fatalities: 78 / Occupants: 84 |
|Airplane damage:|| Written off|
|Airplane fate:|| Written off (damaged beyond repair)|
|Location:||near Francistown (Botswana)
|Phase:|| Approach (APR)|
|Nature:||International Scheduled Passenger|
|Departure airport:||Francistown Airport (FRW/FBFT), Botswana|
|Destination airport:||Blantyre-Chileka Airport (BLZ/FWCL), Malawi|
PROBABLE CAUSE: Powerloss on all 4 engines due to fuel contamination. A load of Jet A1 (Avtur) fuel had been unloaded in one of the Aviation gasoline (Avgas) tanks, causing a contamination of 25-30%.
Sample newspaper article from Newspaperarchive.com
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 Francistown Airport to Blantyre-Chileka Airport as the crow flies is 995 km (622 miles).
This information is not presented as the Flight Safety Foundation or the Aviation Safety Networkĺs opinion as to the cause of the accident. It is preliminary and is based on the facts as they are known at this time.