A Varig Boeing 707-379C similar to the one involved in the accident
|Date||11 July 1973|
|Summary||In-flight fire, leading to loss of controls and belly landing|
|Site||near Orly, France Coordinates:|
|Aircraft type||Boeing 707-320C|
|Flight origin||Galeão International Airport, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil|
|Stopover||Orly Airport, Paris, France|
|Destination||Heathrow Airport, London|
Varig Flight 820 was a flight of the Brazilian airline Varig that departed from Galeão International Airport in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, on July 11, 1973, for Orly Airport, in Paris, France. The plane, a Boeing 707 registration PP-VJZ, made an emergency landing on onion fields about four kilometers from Orly Airport, due to smoke in the cabin from a fire in one of the toilets. The fire caused 123 deaths; there were only 11 survivors (ten crew members and one passenger).
VARIG was the first airline founded in Brazil, in 1927. From 1965 until 1990, it was Brazil's leading airline, and virtually its only international one. In 2005, Varig went into judicial re-organisation, and in 2006 it was split into two companies – Flex Linhas Aéreas, informally known as "old" Varig, heir to the original airline and now defunct, and "new" Varig, a new company fully integrated into Gol Airlines.
Rio de Janeiro, or simply Rio, is anchor to the Rio de Janeiro metropolitan area and the second-most populous municipality in Brazil and the sixth-most populous in the Americas. Rio de Janeiro is the capital of the state of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil's third-most populous state. Part of the city has been designated as a World Heritage Site, named "Rio de Janeiro: Carioca Landscapes between the Mountain and the Sea", by UNESCO on 1 July 2012 as a Cultural Landscape.
Brazil, officially the Federative Republic of Brazil, is the largest country in both South America and Latin America. At 8.5 million square kilometers and with over 208 million people, Brazil is the world's fifth-largest country by area and the fifth most populous. Its capital is Brasília, and its most populated city is São Paulo. The federation is composed of the union of the 26 states, the Federal District, and the 5,570 municipalities. It is the largest country to have Portuguese as an official language and the only one in the Americas; it is also one of the most multicultural and ethnically diverse nations, due to over a century of mass immigration from around the world.
Flight 820's problems began when a fire started in a rear lavatory. Crew members moved to the front of the airplane toward the emergency exit, as many passengers in the rear of the plane inhaled smoke. Prior to the forced landing, many of the passengers had already died of carbon monoxide poisoning and smoke inhalation. The aircraft landed in a field 5 km short of the runway, in a full-flap and gear down configuration.
Only one passenger survived, while the major part of the crew left the plane by the emergency exit at the top of the cockpit.
A cockpit or flight deck is the area, usually near the front of an aircraft or spacecraft, from which a pilot controls the aircraft.
A possible cause of the fire was that the lavatory waste bin contents caught fire after a lit cigarette was thrown into it, the FAA issued AD 74-08-09 requiring "installation of placards prohibiting smoking in the lavatory and disposal of cigarettes in the lavatory waste receptacles; establishment of a procedure to announce to airplane occupants that smoking is prohibited in the lavatories; installation of ashtrays at certain locations; and repetitive inspections to ensure that lavatory waste receptacle doors operate correctly".
Most of the passengers on the aircraft were Brazilian. The only survivors were in the cockpit and the first several rows of seats. Of the 11 survivors, 10 were members of the crew;the sole surviving passenger, Ricardo Trajano disobeyed instructions to remain in his seat.
Notable passengers who died included:
Jörg Bruder was a Brazilian sailor and geology professor at the University of São Paulo. Born in São Paulo, he became the first three-time Finn Gold Cup champion. Bruder died in 1973 in Orly, Paris, on Varig Flight 820 to Paris, when travelling to the Finn Gold Cup.
Filinto Müller was a military-associated Brazilian politician, and President of the Senate for the state of Mato Grosso and Chief of Distrito Federal police during the government of Getúlio Vargas (1933–1942).
Agostinho dos Santos was a Brazilian singer and composer of bossa nova, MPB and rock and roll, active from the early 1950s until his premature death in an airplane accident in 1973. Dos Santos is best known today for lending his voice to the soundtrack of the classic 1959 film Orfeu Negro. He is also credited with playing a role in the development of the careers of other important Bossa Nova artists, such as João Gilberto and Milton Nascimento. Dos Santos' voice was a baritone with bright coloring and a light vibrato, singing in a style called "crooner da orchestra".
Paris Orly Airport, commonly referred to as Orly, is an international airport located partially in Orly and partially in Villeneuve-le-Roi, 7 NM south of Paris, France. It serves as a secondary hub for domestic and overseas territories flights of Air France and as the homebase for Transavia France. Flights operate to destinations in Europe, the Middle East, Africa, the Caribbean, North America, East Asia and Southeast Asia. Prior to the opening of Charles de Gaulle Airport in March 1974, Orly was the main airport of Paris. Even with the shift of most international traffic to Charles de Gaulle Airport, Orly remains the busiest French airport for domestic traffic and the second busiest French airport overall in passenger traffic, with 33,120,685 passengers in 2018. The airport is operated by Groupe ADP under the brand Paris Aéroport. Since February 2018, the CEO of the airport has been Régis Lacote.
United Airlines Flight 232 was a regularly scheduled United Airlines flight from Denver to Chicago, continuing to Philadelphia. On July 19, 1989, the DC-10 serving the flight crash-landed at Sioux City, Iowa, after suffering a catastrophic failure of its tail-mounted engine, which led to the loss of many flight controls. At the time, the aircraft was en route from Stapleton International Airport to O'Hare International Airport. Of the 296 passengers and crew on board, 111 died in the accident and 185 survived, making the crash the fifth-deadliest involving the DC-10, behind Turkish Airlines Flight 981, American Airlines Flight 191, Air New Zealand Flight 901, and UTA Flight 772. Despite the deaths, the accident is considered a prime example of successful crew resource management because of the large number of survivors and the manner in which the flight crew handled the emergency and landed the airplane without conventional control.
This is a list of aviation-related events from 1973:
Saudia Flight 163 was a scheduled Saudia passenger flight which caught fire after takeoff from Riyadh International Airport en route to Jeddah, Saudi Arabia on 19 August 1980. All 287 passengers and 14 crew on board the Lockheed L-1011-200 TriStar died from smoke inhalation after the aircraft made a successful emergency landing at Riyadh.
Air Canada Flight 797 was an international passenger flight operating from Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport to Montréal–Dorval International Airport, with an intermediate stop at Toronto Pearson International Airport. On June 2, 1983, the McDonnell Douglas DC-9-32 operating the service developed an in-flight fire behind the lavatory that spread between the outer skin and the inner decor panels, filling the plane with toxic smoke. The spreading fire also burned through crucial electrical cables that disabled most of the instrumentation in the cockpit, forcing the plane to divert to Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport. Ninety seconds after the plane landed and the doors were opened, the heat of the fire and fresh oxygen from the open exit doors created flashover conditions, and the plane's interior immediately became engulfed in flames, killing 23 passengers who had yet to evacuate the aircraft.
British Airtours Flight 28M was an international passenger flight which caught fire before takeoff at Manchester Airport, England on 22 August 1985 with the loss of 55 lives. It was en route to Corfu International Airport in Greece.
Korean Air Lines Flight 902 was a scheduled Korean Air Lines flight from Paris to Seoul via Anchorage. On 20 April 1978, Soviet air defense shot down the aircraft serving the flight, a Boeing 707, near Murmansk, Soviet Union, after the aircraft violated Soviet airspace.
Pakistan International Airlines Flight 740 was a Hajj pilgrimage flight from Kano, Nigeria to Karachi, Pakistan with an intermediate stopover in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. Operated by Pakistan International Airlines, on 26 November 1979, the Boeing 707-340C serving the route crashed shortly after takeoff from Jeddah International Airport. All 156 people on board were killed.
China Airlines Flight 120 was a regularly scheduled flight from Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport in Taoyuan County, Taiwan to Naha Airport in Okinawa, Japan. On August 20, 2007, the Boeing 737-800 aircraft operating the flight caught fire and exploded after landing and taxiing to the gate area at Naha Airport. Four people sustained injuries in the accident.
An aircraft lavatory is a small room on an aircraft with a toilet and sink.
The 1965 Carmel mid-air collision occurred on December 4, 1965, when Eastern Air Lines Flight 853 (N6218C), a Lockheed Super Constellation en route from Boston Logan International Airport to Newark International Airport, collided in mid-air with Trans World Airlines Flight 42 (N748TW), a Boeing 707-131B en route from San Francisco International Airport to John F. Kennedy International Airport, over Carmel, New York, United States.
Varig Flight 797 was a flight from Abidjan, Côte d'Ivoire to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. On 3 January 1987 the Boeing 707-320C used for the route crashed on the terrain, killing all 12 crew members and 38 of 39 passengers.
Air France has been in operation since 1933. Its aircraft have been involved in a number of major accidents and incidents. The worst accident of the airline occurred on June 1, 2009, when Air France Flight 447, an Airbus A330-203, crashed into the Atlantic Ocean with 228 fatalities. A selected list of the most noteworthy of these events is given below.
Varig Flight 967 was an international cargo flight that disappeared on 30 January 1979 while en route from Narita International Airport in Japan to Rio de Janeiro–Galeão International Airport in Brazil, with a stopover in Los Angeles International Airport. Neither the aircraft, a Boeing 707-323C cargo aircraft, nor the six crew members have ever been found.
UPS Airlines Flight 6 was a cargo flight operated by UPS Airlines. On September 3, 2010, a Boeing 747-400F flying the route between Dubai International Airport and Cologne Bonn Airport developed an in-flight fire, with the fumes and subsequent crash resulting in the death of the two crew members. The aircraft had departed Dubai International earlier, but returned after reporting smoke in the cockpit. It was the first fatal air crash for UPS Airlines. The crash caused an examination of safety procedures protecting airliners from cockpit smoke.
Nigeria Airways Flight 9805 was a cargo flight from King Abdulaziz International Airport in Jeddah to Mallam Aminu Kano International Airport in Kano, Nigeria. On 19 December 1994, the Boeing 707-3F9C flying the route suffered an in-flight fire and crashed into a marshland near Kiri Kasama, Hadeija LGA, Nigeria. One of the three crew members and both passengers died. The investigation determined that a heat generating substance was the probable cause.
Aeroflot Flight 2306 was a scheduled domestic passenger flight from Vorkuta to Moscow in the Soviet Union, with a stopover in Syktyvkar. The Tupolev Tu-134 operated by Aeroflot crashed on 2 July 1986 during an emergency landing after it departed Syktyvkar, killing 54 of 92 passengers and crew on board.
FedEx Flight 1406 was an American domestic cargo flight from Memphis International Airport, Memphis, Tennessee, to Logan International Airport in Boston, Massachusetts, that suffered an in-flight cargo fire over New York on September 5, 1996. The three crew members and two passengers on board successfully evacuated after an emergency landing at Stewart International Airport in New Windsor, New York. After the evacuation, the DC-10 was consumed by fire. After an extensive investigation, the National Transportation Safety Board was unable to determine what caused the fire. Nevertheless, the Federal Aviation Administration made recommendations to prevent similar incidents from occurring in the future.