UTAGE Flight 141
|This article needs additional citations for verification. (June 2009)|
3X-GDO's former sister aircraft.
|Date||25 December 2003|
|Summary||Failure to take off|
|Site||Cotonou Airport, Benin|
|Injuries (non-fatal)||14 (2 on ground)|
|Aircraft type||Boeing 727-223|
|Operator||Union des Transports Aériens de Guinée (UTAGE)|
|Flight origin||Conakry International Airport|
|2nd stopover||Cotonou Airport|
|3rd stopover||Kufra Airport|
|Last stopover||Rafic Hariri Int'l Airport|
|Destination||Dubai International Airport|
UTAGE Flight 141 was a charter flight operated by Union des Transports Aériens de Guinée. On 25 December 2003 the aircraft crashed in the Bight of Benin, killing 151 of the 163 occupants, most of them Lebanese.
Flight 141 was flown by 3X-GDO, an ex-American Airlines Boeing 727-223, on the day of the crash. The airliner's route was Conakry International Airport - Cotonou Cadjehoun Airport - Kufra Airport - Beirut International Airport - Dubai International Airport. Many of the passengers were workers who were flying back home to Lebanon to enjoy the holidays with their families.
On takeoff from Cotonou, the aircraft ran off the end of the runway, impacting several ground structures including an occupied outbuilding and crashed on the ocean beach because it was severely overloaded with passengers and cargo and the aircraft's center of gravity was well out of limits, according to the accident report.
The Government of Benin established a National Commission of Inquiry to investigate the accident, as outlined by Decree No 2003-563 of 26 December 2003. The commission's president established Order No 3451/MDN/DC/SA of 30 December 2003, which gave the Bureau d'Enquêtes et d'Analyses pour la Sécurité de l'Aviation Civile (BEA), the aviation investigation agency of France, the responsibility of conducting the technical investigation. The BEA wrote the original accident report and translated the report into English.
Exact passenger numbers are impossible to determine, as it is thought that there were more passengers aboard than were listed on the manifest.
Some newspaper reports have led many to suspect that the airplane used for this flight was, in fact, a 727-223 designated N844AA that had disappeared about one year earlier, along with flight engineer Ben Charles Padilla. This rumor turned out to be unfounded.
Some passengers who survived the initial crash died while being hospitalized.
This was the 100th aviation accident involving the Boeing 727.
- "report translation 3x-o031225a." Bureau d'Enquêtes et d'Analyses pour la Sécurité de l'Aviation Civile. Retrieved on 9 June 2009.
- "Plane crash in Benin kills at least 111." CBC. Friday 26 December 2003. Retrieved on 9 June 2009.
- Accident description at the Aviation Safety Network (Summary of the French accident investigation)
- Bureau d'Enquêtes et d'Analyses pour la sécurité de l'Aviation Civile
- "Accident d'un Boeing 727 à Cotonou le 25 décembre 2003." (French) (Archive)
- Summary of the English translation of investigation (Archive)
- Original French report (French) (HTML) (Archive)