Accident Douglas DC-4 A2-ZER, Thursday 4 April 1974
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Date:Thursday 4 April 1974
Type:Silhouette image of generic DC4 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different    
Douglas DC-4
Owner/operator:Wenela Air Services
Registration: A2-ZER
MSN: 27242
Year of manufacture:1944
Fatalities:Fatalities: 78 / Occupants: 84
Other fatalities:0
Aircraft damage: Destroyed, written off
Location:3,6 km from Francistown Airport (FRW) -   Botswana
Phase: Approach
Nature:Passenger - Scheduled
Departure airport:Francistown Airport (FRW/FBFT)
Destination airport:Blantyre-Chileka Airport (BLZ/FWCL)
The DC-4 took off from Francistown runway 11 at 02:32. The engine temperatures started to rise, even after opening the gills. When temperatures exceeded the limit, the engines started backfiring. A left hand circuit was made to return to the airport, but the aircraft kept descending and crash-landed 3600 m short of the runway. The aircraft struck some trees and burst into flames.

PROBABLE CAUSE: Powerloss on all 4 engines due to fuel contamination. A load of Jet A1 (Avtur) fuel had been unloaded in one of the Aviation gasoline (Avgas) tanks, causing a contamination of 25-30%.



  • 8th worst accident in 1974
  • 3rd worst accident of this aircraft type
  • 3rd worst accident of this aircraft type at the time


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