Date & Time: Jun 17, 1961 at 2323 LT
Type of aircraft:
Douglas C-54 Skymaster
Continentale Deutsche Luftreederei
Landing (descent or approach)
Hamburg – Luxembourg – Tripoli – Kano – Léopoldville
Crew on board:
Pax on board:
Captain / Total hours on type:
Copilot / Total hours on type:
Aircraft flight hours:
Following an uneventful flight from Tripoli, the crew started a night approach to Kano-Intl Airport. On final, the airplane struck the ground 3,2 km short of runway 07 threshold and crashed. A passenger was killed while six other occupants were seriously injured. The aircraft was destroyed.
The accident was the result of an error of judgement on the part of the captain, who, after sighting the runway lights, concentrated on keeping them in sight and failed to make adequate reference to his flight instruments. As a result, he allowed the aircraft to descend below the obstacle clearance limit of 360 feet. In the darkness with no ground reference, the distant runway lights gave him insufficient guidance as to his height and angle of approach, and he was unaware that the aircraft had descended to ground level. The fatigue of the captain and the failure to put the aircraft's landing lights ON were considered as contributing factors.