Varig Flight 820

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Varig Flight 820
Varig Boeing 707-379C Hoppe.jpg
A Varig Boeing 707-379C similar to the one involved in the accident
Accident
Date11 July 1973
SummaryIn-flight fire, leading to loss of controls and belly landing
Sitenear Orly, France 48°45′N2°24′E / 48.750°N 2.400°E / 48.750; 2.400 Coordinates: 48°45′N2°24′E / 48.750°N 2.400°E / 48.750; 2.400
Aircraft
Aircraft type Boeing 707-320C
Operator Varig
Registration PP-VJZ
Flight origin Galeão International Airport, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Stopover Orly Airport, Paris, France
Destination Heathrow Airport, London
Passengers117
Crew17
Fatalities123
Injuries11
Survivors11

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 1927-2006 airline in Brazil, flag-carrier and first airline founded in Brazil

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 Second-most populous municipality in Brazil

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 Federal republic in South America

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.

Contents

Crash

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.

Cockpit area, usually near the front of an aircraft, from which a pilot controls the aircraft or vehicle

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". [1]

Passengers

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; [2] the sole surviving passenger, Ricardo Trajano disobeyed instructions to remain in his seat.

Notable passengers who died included:

Jörg Bruder Brazilian yacht racer

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 Brazilian politician

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".

See also

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This is a list of aviation-related events from 1973:

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Air Canada Flight 797 1983 in-flight fire aboard an Air Canada DC-9-32 near Cincinnati, Ohio, USA

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British Airtours Flight 28M aviation accident

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Korean Air Lines Flight 902 aviation accident

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Pakistan International Airlines Flight 740 Aviation accident

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China Airlines Flight 120 aviation accident

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Aeroflot Flight 2306 aviation accident

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References

  1. Ranter, Harro. "ASN Aircraft accident Boeing 707-345C PP-VJZ Paris-Orly Airport (ORY)". aviation-safety.net. Retrieved 9 October 2017.
  2. 1 2 "Death in the Air: Fire and Fumes." Time . 23 July 1973. Retrieved on 8 December 2010.(subscription required)

Further reading

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