ASN Aircraft accident Boeing 707-329 OO-SJA Brussel-Zaventem Airport (BRU)
ASN logo
Status:Accident investigation report completed and information captured
Date:Sunday 29 March 1981
Type:Silhouette image of generic B703 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Boeing 707-329
Registration: OO-SJA
MSN: 17623/78
First flight: 1959
Total airframe hrs:64462
Engines: 4 Pratt & Whitney JT4A-11
Crew:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 7
Passengers:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 110
Total:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 117
Aircraft damage: Substantial
Aircraft fate: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Location:Brussel-Zaventem Airport (BRU) (   Belgium)
Phase: Landing (LDG)
Nature:Int'l Non Scheduled Passenger
Departure airport:Brussel-Zaventem Airport (BRU/EBBR), Belgium
Destination airport:Tenerife-Sur Reina Sofia Airport (TFS/GCTS), Spain
Sobelair flight OO1915 took off from runway 02 at Brussel-Zaventem Airport (BRU), Belgium at 09:29 local time. As the airplane was climbing through an altitude of 7000 feet there was a violent explosion in the no. 3 engine. An uncontained failure had caused a fire in the engine. The first extinguishing bottle was fired, but to no avail. The fire finally went out after the second bottle was fired.
The crew returned to the airport and were cleared for an emergency approach to runway 25L. While turning onto finals, the airplane overshot the extended centreline of runway 25L. The captain then decided to land on runway 25R.
After touchdown the thrust reversers of engine no. 1 and 4 were activated and wheel brakes were used to decelerate.
The pilot was afraid that the aircraft couldn't be stopped on the runway and steered the Boeing off the left side of the runway.
The aircraft was damaged beyond repair and withdrawn from use at Brussels.

The engine failure was attributed to a fatigue failure of a fan blade of the 10th stage of the compressor.

Probable Cause:

Probable cause of the accident (translated from French):
During an emergency landing on three engines, at a weight above the maximum landing weight, the aircraft landed at a high speed and the brakes were not used properly.

Uncontained engine failure
Forced landing on runway

» Rapport d'enquete etabli suite a l'accident survenu a l'avion Boeing 707-329 immatricule OO-SJA a l'aeroport de Bruxelles National le 29 Mars 1981


photo of Boeing-707-329-OO-SJA
accident date: 29-03-1981
type: Boeing 707-329
registration: OO-SJA

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 Brussel-Zaventem Airport to Tenerife-Sur Reina Sofia Airport as the crow flies is 3072 km (1920 miles).

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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Boeing 707

  • 858 built
  • 80th loss
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