TAI Flight 307

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TAI Flight 307
Douglas DC-7C OO-SFC Sabena RWY 18.08.62 edited-3.jpg
A DC-7C of Sabena similar to the crash aircraft
Date24 September 1959
SummaryControlled flight into terrain
SiteBordeaux–Mérignac Airport, France
Aircraft typeDouglas DC-7C
OperatorTransports Aériens Intercontinentaux (TAI)
Flight originBordeaux–Mérignac Airport, France
StopoverBamako Airport, Mali
DestinationAbidjan, Ivory Coast

TAI Flight 307 was a scheduled flight operated by Transports Aériens Intercontinentaux (TAI) between France and the Ivory Coast via Mali operated by a Douglas DC-7C. On 24 September 1959, the aircraft crashed during its departure from Bordeaux–Mérignac Airport, France when it flew into trees.[1] All of the flight crew and 45 of the 56 passengers on board were killed; the other 11 passengers were seriously injured.[1]


The DC-7C arrived at Bordeaux from Paris, making a scheduled stop on its route to West Africa. Following a two-hour stopover, departure from Bordeaux took place at 22:33 GMT.[1] Weather at the time of departure was a 3-knot (3.5 mph) wind and light drizzle that did not significantly restrict visibility.[1] Following takeoff, the aircraft reached an altitude of 30 metres (98 ft), and failed to climb further before flying into a pine forest located 2,950 metres (9,680 ft) from the end of the runway.[1]

The aircraft cut a swath through the forest; some of the passengers were thrown clear of the wreckage as the fuselage broke up, before being destroyed in a post-crash fire.[2] Because of the darkness and a lack of roads in the accident area, rescue workers had difficulty reaching the scene of the crash; their vehicles were unable to approach closer than 0.5 miles (0.80 km) to the impact site.[2] Twelve survivors were taken to a hospital in Bordeaux; one later died despite medical care, bringing the total number of deaths caused by the crash to 54.[3][4]


The aircraft involved in the accident, registered F-BIAP, was a Douglas DC-7C airliner powered by four Wright R-3350-30W radial piston engines. Delivered new to Transports Aériens Intercontinentaux on 9 November 1957, it carried manufacturer's serial number 45366.[5]

Probable cause[edit]

The Investigation Board appointed to determine the cause of the crash reported that the accident was most likely caused by a combination of factors. Evidence from a reconstructed flight showed that with an increase in speed for a few seconds, the rate of climb of the aircraft will decrease; with a lack of visual references "a pilot may follow a line of flight that will bring the aircraft back near the ground if, during this period, optimum climbing speed is not maintained and the altimeter is not carefully watched".[1]


  1. ^ a b c d e f Civil Aviation Authority 1974, p. 18/59
  2. ^ a b "Bordeaux Air Crash Death Roll 53 – Three Britons feared dead". News. The Times (54576). London. 26 September 1959. col G, p. 6.
  3. ^ "Over 40 killed in French airliner – crash just after take-off". News. The Times (54575). London. 25 September 1959. col D, p. 12.
  4. ^ "Bordeaux". News in Brief. The Times (54578). London. 29 September 1959. col G, p. 9.
  5. ^ Eastwood 1991, p. 212

External links[edit]