1995 Trans Service Airlift Electra crash
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|Date||18 December 1995|
|Summary||Possible stall due to overloading|
|Aircraft type||Lockheed L-188C Electra|
|Operator||Trans Service Airlift|
|Flight origin||Damba Airport, Angola|
The Trans Service Airlift Lockheed L-188 crash occurred on 18 December 1995 when a Lockheed L-188C Electra owned by Trans Service Airlift crashed shortly after takeoff from Jamba Airport (JMB), Angola, killing 141 of the passengers and crew.
Trans Service Airlift (TSA), was a private company headquartered at Ndjili Airport, Kinshasa. The Electra was one of a number of ageing aircraft operated by TSA. It was built in 1959 and after service with other operators it was sold to TSA in 1994.
On the date of the accident, the aircraft was a special charter for UNITA. Following the 1993 trade embargo on UNITA there were frequent "sanction busting" flights out of Zaire. TSA was one of the companies cited in connection with these operations. These flights rarely carried weapons (which were typically supplied over ground routes); usual cargos were personnel, fuels, food, and medical supplies. The Angolan Government later claimed the aircraft was carrying weapons.
The aircraft, with 139 passengers and five crew members, was carrying forty more people than the plane was designed to carry, without taking cargo into account. It crashed very soon after take-off, in the initial climb phase of flight. Some reports speculate that a movement of the cargo may have caused the crash.
The co-pilot and two passengers survived the initial crash. The accident was the worst plane crash in 1995 until the crash of American Airlines Flight 965 two days later. It remains the worst ever plane crash in Angola.
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