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Last updated: 16 September 2021
Status:Definitief
Datum:vrijdag 17 april 1964
Tijd:19:32 UTC
Type:Silhouette image of generic S210 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Sud Aviation SE-210 Caravelle III
Luchtvaartmaatschappij:Middle East Airlines - MEA
Registratie: OD-AEM
Constructienummer: 23
Bouwjaar: 1960-01-18 (4 years 3 months)
Bemanning:slachtoffers: 7 / inzittenden: 7
Passagiers:slachtoffers: 42 / inzittenden: 42
Totaal:slachtoffers: 49 / inzittenden: 49
Schade: Afgeschreven
Gevolgen: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Plaats:19 km (11.9 mijl) SSE of Dhahran International Airport (DHA) (   Saudi-ArabiŽ)
Fase: Nadering (APR)
Soort vlucht:Internationale lijnvlucht
Vliegveld van vertrek:Beirut International Airport (BEY/OLBA), Libanon
Vliegveld van aankomst:Dhahran International Airport (DHA/OEDR), Saudi-ArabiŽ
Vluchtnummer:ME444
Beschrijving:
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."

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


Foto's

photo of Caravelle-III-
 

Kaart
Deze kaart geeft het vliegveld van vetrek weer en de geplande bestemming van de vlucht. De lijn tussen de vliegvelden geeft niet de exacte vliegroute weer.
De afstand tussen Beirut International Airport en Dhahran International Airport bedraagt 1629 km (1018 miles).
Accident location: Exact; as reported in the official accident report.

This information is not presented as the Flight Safety Foundation or the Aviation Safety Networkís opinion as to the cause of the accident. It is preliminary and is based on the facts as they are known at this time.
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Caravelle

  • 282 built
  • 7e ongeval
  • 4e dodelijk ongeval
  • 3e zwaarste ongeval (toen het plaatsvond)
  • 12e zwaarste ongeval (op dit moment)
» safety profile

 Saudi-ArabiŽ
  • The zwaarste ongeval (toen het plaatsvond)
  • 8e zwaarste ongeval (op dit moment)
» safety profile