Air India Flight 245
A Lockheed L-749A Constellation similar to the accident aircraft.
|Date||3 November 1950|
|Summary||Controlled Flight Into Terrain (CFIT) in poor weather|
|Aircraft type||Lockheed L-749A Constellation|
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.
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. Debris was located by a Swiss plane, but stormy weather prevented rescue parties from reaching it until November 5. There were no survivors.
16 years later, Air India Flight 101 crashed in almost exactly the same spot. In September, 2013, a climber discovered a cache of jewelry that is speculated to have been aboard one of these two flights.
- 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 realizing 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  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.
A similar accident occurred with Air India Flight 101 which was a scheduled Air India passenger flight that accidentally flew into a mountain near Mont Blanc in France on the morning of 24 January 1966. It just crashed near the same place where Air India Flight 245 crashed. All 106 passengers and 11 crew were killed including the chairman of the Indian Atomic Energy Commission Dr Homi Jehangir Bhabha.
- 6th loss of a Lockheed L-749.
- At the time, the second-worst accident involving a Lockheed L-749. (Currently, the 3rd-worst.)
- At the time, the worst air accident that had occurred in France. (Currently, the 13th-worst air accident.)
- "MALABAR PRINCESS". Retrieved 2009-06-17.
- "The "Malabar Princess" Catastrophe". Archived from the original on 20 June 2009. Retrieved 2009-06-17.
- "Accident description". Aviation Safety. Retrieved 2009-06-17.
- Mendis, Sean (2004-07-26). "Air India : The story of the aircraft". Airwhiners.net. Retrieved 2013-06-13.
- Michael Pearson and Saskya Vandoorne (September 26, 2013). "Mysterious cache of jewels turns up atop French glacier". CNN.
- "Malabar Princess". IMDB. Archived from the original on 24 May 2009. Retrieved 2009-06-17.
- "Malabar Princess". Family Education. Retrieved 2009-06-17.