Photo: Caravelle, from

Eddie Sez:

There isn't much available about this crash other than it was an electrical equipment fire that spread faster than the crew could react. It is cited by a U.S. Advisory Circular, AC 120-80 as having become non-survivable in 26 minutes. This mishap with six more to follow gave birth to the idea a cabin fire must be put out in four minutes or it can't be, the aircraft must be landed in fourteen minutes or less or it won't be under the pilot's control when it does. More about this: Abnormal Procedures / Fire.

What follows are quotes from the sources listed below, as well as my comments in blue.

Accident Report


[Sud Aviation] The aircraft arriving from Marseille crashed near Bisakra. A fire broke out in the electrical compartment during cruise flight and forced the crew to perform an emergency landing at Hassi Messaud but the plane crashed in flames killing 35 of the 37 occupants. The pilot in command was the chief-pilot of Air Algérie.

Probable Cause

Cause of fire not documented.

Regardless of the source of the fire, pilot procedures should prioritize getting the aircraft on the ground first, fighting the fire if possible second. This incident, with several others, led to the publication of Advisory Circular 120-80 and the belief that if you don't get the airplane on the ground in fourteen minutes or less, you may not be able to on your own terms.

See Also:


Advisory Circular 120-80, In-flight Fires, 1/8/04, U.S. Department of Transportation

Aviation Safety Network

Sud Aviation