Air France Flight 009

Air France Flight 009 was a scheduled international flight that crashed into a mountain while attempting to land at Santa Maria Airport, Azores on a stopover during a scheduled international passenger flight from Paris-Orly Airport to New York City. All 48 people on board were killed.

Air France Flight 009
Lockheed L749A F-BAZE Algerie ORY 31.05.57 edited-3
A Lockheed L-749A Constellation, similar to the accident aircraft.
Date28 October 1949
SummaryControlled flight into terrain due to pilot error
SitePico da Vara, São Miguel Island, Azores, Portugal
Aircraft typeLockheed L-749-79-46 Constellation
OperatorAir France
Flight originParis-Orly Airport, France
StopoverSanta Maria Airport, Azores, Portugal
DestinationNew York City, United States


The aircraft involved was a Lockheed L-749A-79-46 Constellation F-BAZN, msn 2546, built in 1947.[1]


The aircraft was operating a scheduled international passenger flight from Paris-Orly Airport, France to New York City, with a stopover at Santa Maria Airport, Azores. There were 11 crew and 37 passengers on board.[1] The flight departed from Orly at 20:05 on 27 October.[2]

At 02:51 on 28 October, the pilot reported he was at a height of 3,000 feet (910 m) and had the airport in sight. After no further communications were received from the aircraft, a search was initiated,[1] involving eight aircraft and several ships.[2] The aircraft was found to have crashed into Pico da Vara on São Miguel Island,[1] 60 miles (97 km) due north of the airport. All 48 on board were killed in the crash and subsequent fire.[2] The wreckage was spread over an area in excess of 500 square yards (420 m2). The bodies of the victims were recovered and initially taken to the church in Algarvia before they were repatriated.[3] At the time, the accident was the deadliest to have occurred in Portugal and also the deadliest involving the Lockheed Constellation.[1] A memorial to the victims was erected on Pico da Vara at 37°48′N 25°12′W / 37.800°N 25.200°W.[4]


The accident was investigated by the Bureau d'Enquêtes et d'Analyses pour la Sécurité de l'Aviation Civile.[2] The investigation found that the cause of the accident was controlled flight into terrain due to inadequate navigation by the pilot whilst operating under VFR conditions. It was found that the pilot had sent inaccurate position reports and that he had failed to identify the airport.[1]

Notable casualties

Notable people killed in the accident included the French former middleweight world champion boxer Marcel Cerdan;[5] French violinist Ginette Neveu[2] and her brother Jean Neveu;[6] Guy Jasmin, editor-in-chief of the Montreal-based newspaper Le Canada; French artist Bernard Boutet de Monvel; Ernest Lowenstein, owner of several businesses in France and Morocco; and Kay Kamen, an instrumental merchandising executive for the Walt Disney Company.[2]


Times quoted in this article are local time, per sources used. Paris times are thus Central European Time (CET). Azores times are Greenwich Mean Time, which is one hour behind CET.


  1. ^ a b c d e f "F-BAZN accident description". Aviation Safety Network. Retrieved 18 May 2015.
  2. ^ a b c d e f "French Airliner Crash". The Times (51525). London. 29 October 1949. col D, p. 4.
  3. ^ "French Air-Liner Crash". The Times (51526). London. 31 October 1949. col D, p. 3.
  4. ^ Chaix, Bruno. "STELE AVION AIR FRANCE PICO DA VARA" (in French). Panoramio. Retrieved 18 May 2015.
  5. ^
  6. ^ "Mlle Neveu's Body Identified". The Times (51552). London. 30 November 1949. col D, p. 3.
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1949 Manchester BEA Douglas DC-3 accident

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1949 Queensland Airlines Lockheed Lodestar crash

On 10 March 1949 a Lockheed Lodestar aircraft became airborne at Coolangatta, Queensland, Australia for a flight to Brisbane. Before reaching a height of 300 feet (90 m) it suddenly pitched nose-up, stalled and crashed onto its belly beyond the end of the airstrip.

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1949 Strato-Freight Curtiss C-46A crash

On 7 June 1949 a Strato-Freight Curtiss Wright C-46D, registered in the United States as NC92857, crashed into the Atlantic Ocean 10 km (6.4 mi) west of the San Juan-Isla Grande Airport in San Juan, Puerto Rico, US while en route to Miami, Florida, US. Of the 81 passengers and crew on board, 53 were killed.

Albert Guay

Joseph-Albert Guay (23 September 1918 – 12 January 1951) was a Canadian mass murderer, who on 9 September 1949, killed 23 people aboard Canadian Pacific Air Lines Flight 108 near Sault-au-Cochon, Quebec using a dynamite time bomb. Guay planted the bomb in the suitcase of his wife, the intended victim, in order to bypass a divorce, obtain life insurance money and elope with his mistress.

Guay, along with two accomplices, were convicted and sentenced to death, and he was executed in 1951.

American Airlines Flight 157

American Airlines Flight 157 was a civil aviation accident resulting in 28 fatalities. The aircraft, a Douglas DC-6, was flying on November 29, 1949, from New York City bound for Mexico City with 46 passengers and crew. After one engine failed in mid-flight, a series of critical mistakes by the flight crew caused the pilot to lose control of the plane during the final approach to a routine stopover at Love Field in Dallas, Texas. The airliner slid off the runway and struck a parked airplane, a hangar, and a flight school before crashing into a business across from the airport. 26 passengers and two flight attendants died. The pilot, co-pilot, flight engineer, and 15 passengers survived.

BSAA Star Ariel disappearance

Star Ariel (registration G-AGRE) was an Avro Tudor Mark IVB passenger aircraft owned and operated by British South American Airways (BSAA) which disappeared without a trace over the Atlantic Ocean while on a flight between Bermuda and Kingston, Jamaica on 17 January 1949. The loss of the aircraft along with that of BSAA Avro Tudor Star Tiger in January 1948 remain unsolved to this day, with the resulting speculation helping to develop the Bermuda Triangle legend.

Eastern Air Lines Flight 537

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"Many hours following the collision of an Eastern Air Lines passenger transport and a Bolivian fighter plane, the search went on today under the glare of floodlights for the nine passengers whose bodies had not yet been recovered.

"Shocked Members of Congress, stunned by the loss of one of their own number (Dem. George J. Bates), promised a complete air safety investigation. The Civil Aeronautics Board said its hearings into the cause of the crash will start in a few days. The airline scheduled a probe of its own, as well. The disaster occurred as the big DC-4 transport headed into the National Airport for a landing shortly before noon, flying at about 300 feet.

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The CAB determined the primary probable causes of the accident to be the P-38 pilot's decision to land without proper clearance and his failure to exercise normal vigilance in looking out for conflicting traffic. The CAB also found that the tower controllers failed to exercise due vigilance in not notifying the pilots of Flight 537 earlier as to the critical traffic situation developing. However, the report also states that even if Flight 537 had received earlier advice with respect to the P-38's location, it might still have been too late to avoid the accident, as Bridoux's actions left Flight 537 only a few seconds in which to turn.Among the dead on Flight 537 were Congressman George J. Bates, New Yorker cartoonist Helen E. Hokinson, and former Congressman Michael J. Kennedy.

Hurum air disaster

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List of accidents and incidents involving commercial aircraft

This article is a list of accidents and incidents involving commercial aircraft and is grouped by the years in which the accidents and incidents occurred.

List of accidents and incidents involving the Lockheed Constellation

The Lockheed Constellation ("Connie") was a propeller-driven airliner powered by four 18-cylinder radial Wright R-3350 engines. It was built by Lockheed between 1943 and 1958 at its Burbank, California, USA, facility. A total of 856 aircraft were produced in four models, all distinguished by a triple-tail design and dolphin-shaped fuselage. The Constellation was used as a civilian airliner and as a U.S. military air transport, seeing service in the Berlin Airlift. It was the presidential aircraft for U.S. President Dwight D. Eisenhower.

Standard Air Lines Flight 897R

Standard Air Lines Flight 897R was a domestic passenger flight between Albuquerque, New Mexico and Burbank, California. At 7:43am on July 12, 1949, the flight, operated by a Curtiss C-46E (registered N79978), crashed in Chatsworth, California, upon approach to Burbank, killing 35 of the 48 passengers and crew on board.

Superga air disaster

The Superga air disaster occurred on 4 May 1949, when a Fiat G.212 of Avio Linee Italiane (Italian Airlines), carrying the entire Torino football team (popularly known as the Grande Torino), crashed into the retaining wall at the back of the Basilica of Superga, which stands on a hill on the outskirts of Turin. Thirty-one people died; there were no survivors.

Corporate Affairs

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