Air India Flight 245

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Air India Flight 245
A Lockheed L-749A Constellation similar to the accident aircraft.
Accident summary
Date 3 November 1950
Summary Controlled Flight into Terrain (CFIT) in poor weather
Site Mont Blanc
Passengers 40
Crew 8
Injuries (non-fatal) 0
Fatalities 48
Survivors 0
Aircraft type Lockheed L-749A Constellation
Operator Air India
Registration VT-CQP
Flight origin Bombay
Stopover Cairo
1st stopover Geneva
Destination London

Air India Flight 245 was a scheduled Air India passenger flight that crashed into Mont Blanc, France, on 3 November 1950. On the morning of 3 November 1950, flown by the Lockheed L-749A Constellation Malabar Princess (registered VT-CQP), carried 40 passengers and 8 crew on the route Bombay-Cairo-Geneva-London. Over France, it crashed into Mont Blanc, killing all on board.[1][2][3]

The accident[edit]

The last transmission from the aircraft, received by controllers at Grenoble and Geneva, was "I am vertical with Voiron, at 4700 meters altitude." at 10:43 a.m.

The "Malabar Princess" hit the face of the Rochers de la Tournette 4,677 m (15,344 ft) on the French side of Mont Blanc.[2] Debris was located by a Swiss plane, but stormy weather prevented rescue parties from reaching it until 5 November.[2] There were no survivors.

16 years later, Air India Flight 101 crashed in almost exactly the same spot.[4] In September 2013, a climber discovered a cache of jewellery that is speculated to have been aboard one of these two flights.[5]

Pop-culture references[edit]

  • The crash inspired a 1952 novel in French, La neige en deuil ("The Snow in Mourning"), by Henri Troyat.
  • The 1956 film The Mountain starring Spencer Tracy was based on the above novel La neige en deuil.
  • In the 2001 movie Amélie, the title character reads a newspaper article about alpinists finding, by chance, a mailbag on Mont Blanc and later realising it came from the Malabar Princess that crashed 40 years earlier. This news inspires Amélie to do good to the lonely concierge, by faking a final love letter from her late husband, supposedly found inside that mailbag.
  • The 2004 movie Malabar Princess [6] is about a young boy called Tom who is sent to live with his grandfather in the French Alps after his mother dies on an excursion with her husband. Tom becomes friends with Benoît, and the two search for the remains of the Malabar Princess.[7]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "MALABAR PRINCESS". Retrieved 17 June 2009. 
  2. ^ a b c "The "Malabar Princess" Catastrophe". Archived from the original on 20 June 2009. Retrieved 17 June 2009. 
  3. ^ "Accident description". Aviation Safety. Retrieved 17 June 2009. 
  4. ^ Mendis, Sean (26 July 2004). "Air India : The story of the aircraft". Airwhiners.net. Retrieved 13 June 2013. 
  5. ^ Michael Pearson and Saskya Vandoorne (26 September 2013). "Mysterious cache of jewels turns up atop French glacier". CNN. 
  6. ^ "Malabar Princess". IMDB. Archived from the original on 24 May 2009. Retrieved 17 June 2009. 
  7. ^ "Malabar Princess". Family Education. Retrieved 17 June 2009. 

Coordinates: 45°49′59″N 6°51′35″E / 45.83306°N 6.85972°E / 45.83306; 6.85972