Sudan Airways Flight 139

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This article is about an accident experienced by Sudan Airways in 2003. For other uses, see Flight 139.
Sudan Airways Flight 139
The aircraft involved in the accident is seen here on approach to Fiumicino Airport in 1989.
Accident summary
Date 8 July 2003 (2003-07-08)
Summary Mechanical failure followed by pilot error
Site Port Sudan
19°37′12″N 37°13′00″E / 19.62000°N 37.21667°E / 19.62000; 37.21667Coordinates: 19°37′12″N 37°13′00″E / 19.62000°N 37.21667°E / 19.62000; 37.21667
Passengers 106
Crew 11
Injuries (non-fatal) 0
Fatalities 117
Survivors 0
Aircraft type Boeing 737-200C
Aircraft name White Nile
Operator Sudan Airways
Registration ST-AFK
Flight origin Port Sudan New International Airport
Destination Khartoum International Airport

Sudan Airways Flight 139 refers to a passenger flight that crashed on 8 July 2003 at Port Sudan. The aircraft was due to operate a domestic scheduled Port Sudan–Khartoum passenger service; some 15 minutes after takeoff it experienced a loss of power in one of its engines that prompted the flightcrew to return to the airport of departure for an emergency landing. In doing so, the pilots missed the airport runway and the airplane descended until it hit the ground, disintegrating after the impact, claiming the lives of all 117 occupants aboard the aircraft.[1]

Aircraft[edit]

The aircraft involved in the accident was a Boeing 737-2J8C, c/n 21169, registered ST-AFK.[2] Powered with two Pratt & Whitney JT8D-7 engines, it had its maiden flight on 29 August 1975, and was delivered new to Sudan Airways on 15 September 1975.[2][3] At the time of the accident the aircraft was 27 years and 313 days old.

Description of the accident[edit]

The airplane had reportedly departed Port Sudan at 4:00 am (UTC+3), bound for Khartoum.[4] The pilot radioed about ten minutes after take-off, informing about a problem with one of the engines and that he would fly the aircraft back to the airport of departure to make an emergency landing. However, the plane plummeted into the ground before returning to the airfield and immediately caught fire.[5][6]

All but one of the 117 occupants of the aircraft —most of them Sudanese— perished in the accident.[7][8][9] There were three Indians, a Briton, a Chinese, an Emirati, and an Ethiopian among the dead passengers as well.[4] Initially, the crash had a child as a sole survivor, who later died from the wounds he received.[4][10][11]

Then Sudan foreign minister Mustafa Osman Ismail raised the trade embargo imposed by the U.S. government in 1997 as a contribution to the accident, as he described the company was unable to get spare parts for the maintenance of the airline's fleet because of that sanctions.[3][12][13] The aircraft involved in the accident, in particular, hadn't been serviced for years.[10]

See also[edit]


References[edit]

  1. ^ Accident description at the Aviation Safety Network. Retrieved on 19 December 2011.
  2. ^ a b "Accident information : Boeing 737 Sudan Airways ST-AFK". Airfleets.net. Retrieved 19 December 2011. 
  3. ^ a b c Saeed, Mohamed Ali (8 July 2003). "115 killed in Sudanese plane crash". Middle East Online. Archived from the original on 1 July 2012. 
  4. ^ "Sudan plane crash kills 115". BBC News. 8 July 2003. Archived from the original on 1 July 2012. 
  5. ^ "Boy, 3, is only survivor of Sudan crash". USA Today. 8 July 2003. Archived from the original on 1 July 2012. 
  6. ^ "116 Are Killed in Plane Crash in Sudan; a Small Boy Survives". The New York Times. 9 July 2003. Archived from the original on 1 July 2012. 
  7. ^ "Sudan air crash leaves 116 dead". The Telegraph. 8 July 2003. Archived from the original on 1 July 2012. 
  8. ^ "Two-year-old only survivor of air crash". The Guardian. 8 July 2008. Archived from the original on 1 July 2012. 
  9. ^ a b "Lone survivor of Sudan air crash dies". The Sydney Morning Herald. AFP, DPA. 9 July 2003. Archived from the original on 1 July 2012. 
  10. ^ "Child only survivor of Sudan crash". CNN. 8 July 2003. Archived from the original on 15 July 2003. 
  11. ^ Osman, Mohamed (9 July 2003). "US sanctions blamed for Sudanese air disaster". Independent Online. Archived from the original on 4 May 2013. 
  12. ^ Quirst-Arcton, Ofeibea (9 July 2003). "Sudan: Foreign Minister Pleads for End to US Sanctions Following Air Crash". AllAfrica.com. Archived from the original on 4 May 2013.