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ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 144312
Last updated: 26 November 2021
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Time:00:22 UTC
Type:Silhouette image of generic B744 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Boeing 747-428
Owner/operator:Air France
Registration: F-GITF
MSN: 25602/909
Fatalities:Fatalities: 1 / Occupants: 224
Other fatalities:0
Aircraft damage: Substantial
Location:At around 30 miles from Ouagadougou at FL350 -   Burkina Faso
Phase: En route
Nature:Passenger - Scheduled
Departure airport:Johannesburg-Jan Smuts Airport
Destination airport:Paris-Charles de Gaulle Airport
Investigating agency: BEA
The Boeing 747-428 was operating the regular service flight Cape Town-Johannesburg-Paris (flight AFR 437).
On 4th September 1996 at 15h55 UTC, the jet landed at Johannesburg. It departed at 18h29 UTC. There were 206 passengers and 18 crew members onboard.
While flying over Burkina Faso, at FL350, on 5th september at 00h22 UTC, the aircraft encountered severe turbulence. 30 people were injured in the incident. 1 of the injured people died on September 22.
9 other occupants were heavily injured but survived, while the other 20 received only minor injuries. The plane landed safely at Marseille airport. The aircraft was substantially damaged in this accident.

The accident was due to crossing an area where the aircraft experienced a strong storm with extreme turbulence.
The following factors are the cause of this situation:
- Despite repetitive intermittent faults, the weather radar had not been repaired;
- The flight was undertaken on the basis of insufficient and misinterpreted meteorological information;
- The crew did not consider the non-operation of airborne radar and continued the flight while weather conditions were noticeably deteriorating.
An aggravating factor for the consequences of the accident is that many passengers had detached or loosened their belt despite the set on. Another contributing factor appears to be the fall of a video monitor. This last factor is related to the overall qualification on the aircraft cabin design, without prior dynamic tests.


Official BEA accident report disponible on the BEA official site.
See this link:

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


Photo of F-GITF courtesy

Paris - Charles de Gaulle (LFPG / CDG)
6 June 2014; (c) Erik Frikke

Revision history:

09-Mar-2012 11:19 Ulysse B. Added
09-Mar-2012 11:25 harro Updated [Registration, Cn, Narrative]
30-Jan-2019 15:06 DS Updated [Nature, Narrative]

Corrections or additions? ... Edit this accident description