Sunday 5 March 2023

Remembering BOAC Flight 911

BOAC Flight 911 (call sign "Speedbird 911") was a round-the-world flight operated by the British Overseas Airways Corporation (BOAC) that crashed near Mount Fuji in Japan on the 5th of March 1966, with the loss of all 113 passengers and 11 crew members. The Boeing 707 jetliner involved disintegrated mid-air shortly after departing from Tokyo, as a result of severe clear-air turbulence.

The flight was a scheduled service from San Francisco (SFO/KSFO) to Hong Kong (HKG/VHHH) via Honolulu (HNL/PHNL) and Tokyo (HND/RJTT).
The Boeing 707 was expected to arrive at Tokyo Airport at 16:45 on the 4th of March. However, due to poor meteorological conditions at Tokyo and because the precision approach radar (PAR) of the GCA was out of service, it diverted to Fukuoka (FUK/RJFF) and landed there at 18:00.
After staying overnight at Fukuoka, Flight 911 left for Tokyo at 11:25 and landed there at 12:43.
The aircraft was prepared for the next leg to Hong Kong and a flight plan was filed for a flight. At 13:42 the crew contacted ATC requesting permission to start the engines and clearance for a VMC climb via Fuji-Rebel-Kushimoto. The aircraft left the ramp at 13:50. It was instructed to make "a right turn after " and departed Tokyo Airport at 13:58. After takeoff the aircraft flew over Gotemba City on a heading of approximately 298 deg at an altitude of approximately 4900 m and indicated airspeed of 320 to 370 knots. The aircraft, trailing white vapor, then suddenly lost altitude over the Takigahara area, and parts of the aircraft began to break away over Tsuchiyadai and Ichirimatsu. Finally, over Tarobo at an altitude of approx. 2000 m, the forward fuselage broke away. The mid-aft fuselage together with the wing, making a slow flat spin to the right, crashed into a forest at the foot of Mount Fuji.
The forward fuselage crashed into the forest approx. 300 m to the west of the above site and caught fire.

At the time, it was the third fatal passenger airline accident in Tokyo in a month, following the crash of All Nippon Airways Flight 60 on the 4th of February and that of Canadian Pacific Air Lines Flight 402 just the day before.

Aircraft Information:
Airline: British Overseas Airways Corporation - BOAC
Code: BA/BOA
Aircraft: Boeing 707-436
Registration: G-APFE
Serial Number: 17706
Engines: 4 Rolls-Royce Conway 508

No comments:

Post a Comment