Date & Time: Nov 1, 1961 at 0215 LT
Type of aircraft:
Landing (descent or approach)
Scheduled Revenue Flight
Lisbon – Praia – Recife – Rio de Janeiro
Crew on board:
Pax on board:
Captain / Total hours on type:
Copilot / Total hours on type:
The aircraft, coming from Lisbon, Portugal with a stop at Ilha do Sal, contacted Recife Control Tower at 0505Z. While flying at night in good visibility the flight received instructions for landing and was to call again on the "wind leg". Reporting as requested, authorization for landing was given, and the aircraft was asked to notify when on "final". Thirty seconds thereafter it collided with high (84 m) ground to the right of the centreline of the runway in use, 2 720 m from the runway threshold. The aircraft was destroyed by fire. Thirty-eight passengers and 7 crew members were killed while 43 other occupants were injured.
The accident was caused by pilot errors, i.e. improper evaluation of distance, flying a non-standard traffic pattern by night and failing to observe altitude minima during the final approach. A contributing cause was the improper night marking of obstructions along the approach path towards runway 15.