Accident Douglas DC-4-1009 F-BBDE, Monday 12 June 1950
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Date:Monday 12 June 1950
Type:Silhouette image of generic DC4 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different    
Douglas DC-4-1009
Owner/operator:Air France
Registration: F-BBDE
MSN: 42937
Year of manufacture:1946
Fatalities:Fatalities: 46 / Occupants: 52
Other fatalities:0
Aircraft damage: Destroyed, written off
Location:5,5 km SE off Bahrain Airport (BAH) -   Bahrain
Phase: Approach
Nature:Passenger - Scheduled
Departure airport:Karachi International Airport (KHI/OPKC)
Destination airport:Bahrain International Airport (BAH/OBBI)
Investigating agency: BEA
Confidence Rating: Accident investigation report completed and information captured
The Air France DC-4 was on a scheduled flight from Saigon to Paris. It took off from Karachi (KHI) for Bahrain (BAH) at 16:05. At 20:42 the aircraft called Bahrain approach control giving its altitude as 6500 feet and requesting clearance to descend. Approach control gave clearance to descend to 2000 feet, altimeter setting of 29.51 inches, visibility 1500 yards (1370 metres).
The airplane overflew the airfield at a height of about 1000 feet. At 21:13 the aircraft called Bahrain tower, saying "down wind leg"; the tower acknowledged and said "ground wind 310/20 knots", the aircraft called the tower at 21:15 hours saying "finals" . The tower controller cleared the flight to land on runway 29. On finals the airplane contacted the water and crashed. The wreckage was found in 12 feet of water, 3,3 miles from the runway end 8 hours after the accident.

Two days later an Air France DC-4 on the same flight leg also crashed while on approach to Bahrain at night, killing 40 occupants.

PROBABLE CAUSE: "The pilot-in-command did not keep an accurate check of his altitude and rate of descent during the timed approach procedure, thus allowing his aircraft to fly into the surface of the sea. The possibility that the pilot-in-command was feeling the effects of fatigue cannot be ruled out. It is recommended that consideration be given to equipping Bahrain Airport with radio landing aids and with suitable runway approach lights."

Accident investigation:
Investigating agency: BEA
Report number: CA.134
Status: Investigation completed
Duration: 1 year and 9 months
Download report: Final report


ICAO Circular 38-AN/33 (7-9)


  • 7th worst accident in 1950
  • 20th worst accident of this aircraft type
  • 5th worst accident of this aircraft type at the time



photo (c) Adriaan Altevogt; Bahrain Airport (BAH); June 1950

Revision history:


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