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Last updated: 24 September 2021
Statuts:Enquête Officielle
Date:vendredi 17 avril 1964
Heure:19:32 UTC
Type/Sous-type:Silhouette image of generic S210 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Sud Aviation SE-210 Caravelle III
Compagnie:Middle East Airlines - MEA
Immatriculation: OD-AEM
Numéro de série: 23
Année de Fabrication: 1960-01-18 (4 years 3 months)
Equipage:victimes: 7 / à bord: 7
Passagers:victimes: 42 / à bord: 42
Total:victimes: 49 / à bord: 49
Dégats de l'appareil: Perte Totale
Conséquences: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Lieu de l'accident:19 km (11.9 milles) SSE of Dhahran International Airport (DHA) (   Arabie Saoudite)
Phase de vol: En approche (APR)
Nature:Transport de Passagers Intern.
Aéroport de départ:Beirut International Airport (BEY/OLBA), Liban
Aéroport de destination:Dhahran International Airport (DHA/OEDR), Arabie Saoudite
Numéro de vol:ME444
Détails:
Flight ME 444 departed Beirut (BEY) at 17:09 UTC and climbed to its cruising altitude of FL300. At 19:04 the aircraft reported to Bahrain Control that it was estimating Dhahran (DHA) at 19:28, and was cleared to descend to reach FL50 over the Dhahran beacon. At 19:06 weather information was reported to flight 444, which read a NNE/10 knots wind, gusting to 16, and 0,5nm visibility (in a sandstorm). At 19:26 the pilot reported estimating the Dhahran NDB in two minutes. At 19:28 it contacted Dhahran and reported "5 000 feet descending" and was cleared for an ADF approach. The controller requested the crew to report at 4000 feet and outbound at 2000 feet. One minute later it reported leaving 4000 feet and at 19:30 passing 2500 feet and turning inbound. It was then cleared to final approach and requested to report reaching minimum and runway in sight. At approximately 19:32 a short loud transmission noise was recorded by the Tower. No further message was received from the flight. It was subsequently found that the aircraft struck the sea at the completion of the procedure turn 4 NM off shore and 10 NM south of Dhahran Airport.
The investigation team concluded that there was no mechanical failure that could have caused the accident. Several theories were investigated, a.o. erroneous radio altimeter indications as a result of the sandstorm (these effects have been proven in tests done by Air France), but the team was not able to prove any of those theories.

Probable Cause:

PROBABLE CAUSE: "The probable cause of this accident can not be ascertained."

Sources:
» ICAO Aircraft Accident Digest No.16, Circular 82-AN/69 (151-161)


Photos

photo of Caravelle-III-
 

Plan
Ce plan montre l'aéroport de départ ainsi que la supposée destination du vol. La ligne fixe reliant les deux aéroports n'est pas le plan de vol exact.
La distance entre Beirut International Airport et Dhahran International Airport est de 1629 km (1018 miles).
Accident location: Exact; as reported in the official accident report.

Les informations ci-dessus ne représentent pas l'opinion de la 'Flight Safety Foundation' ou de 'Aviation Safety Network' sur les causes de l'accident. Ces informations prélimimaires sont basées sur les faits tel qu'ils sont connus à ce jour.
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Caravelle

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