Ethiopian Airlines Flight 604

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Ethiopian Airlines Flight 604
Boeing 737-2T4-Adv, Ethiopian Airlines AN0457036.jpg
An Ethiopian Airlines Boeing 737-200, similar to the one involved.
Accident summary
Date 15 September 1988
Summary Belly landing after bird strike
Site Bahir Dar Airport, Bahir Dar, Ethiopia
11°36′17″N 37°19′11″E / 11.60472°N 37.31972°E / 11.60472; 37.31972Coordinates: 11°36′17″N 37°19′11″E / 11.60472°N 37.31972°E / 11.60472; 37.31972
Passengers 98
Crew 6
Fatalities 35
Survivors 69
Aircraft type Boeing 737-200
Operator Ethiopian Airlines
Registration ET-AJA
Flight origin Bole International Airport
Last stopover Bahir Dar Airport
Destination Asmara International Airport

Ethiopian Airlines Flight 604 was a scheduled Addis AbabaBahir DarAsmara flight, that caught fire during a belly landing at Bahir Dar Airport, Bahir Dar, Ethiopia, on 15 September 1988.


The aircraft involved in the accident was a Boeing 737-260, registration ET-AJA, delivered new to Ethiopian Airlines. At the time of the accident the aircraft was less than a year old.[1]

Accident description[edit]

On 15 September 1988 (1988-09-15),[2]:51 the aircraft was due operate the second leg of a domestic scheduled Addis Ababa–Bahir Dar–Asmara passenger service with 104 occupants on board, of whom 98 were passengers.[1][3] Both engines of the aircraft ingested a flock of speckled pigeons as it took off from Bahir Dar Airport, and subsequently overheated.[1] One of the engines immediately lost thrust, while the other did so on the emergency return to the departure airport.[4] During a gear-up landing, the aircraft caught fire.[1]

There is some discrepancy over the death toll depending upon the source, as this number is claimed to be 35,[1] or 31.[4][5][6] The discrepancy likely arose because four bodies could not be recovered.[6] All of the fatalities were among the passengers.[1]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d e f Accident description at the Aviation Safety Network
  2. ^
  3. ^ "At least 31 dead, 71 hurt in Ethiopian plane crash". Deseret News. 16 September 1988. Archived from the original on 10 August 2013. 
  4. ^ a b "Ethiopian Airlines Plane Crashes Since 1970". 
  5. ^ "Profile: Ethiopian Airlines". BBC News. 25 January 2010. Archived from the original on 27 August 2016. 
  6. ^ a b "31 morts dans la chute d'un Boeing éthiopien" [31 death after an Ethiopian Boeing crashed] (in French). Le Monde. AFP, Reuter. 18 September 1988. Archived from the original on 27 August 2016.