As Spanish and French aviation experts began an investigation into the mid-air collision in France on Monday (March 5) in which 68 people died, major world airlines banned their aircraft from flying over France ???
As Spanish and French aviation experts began an investigation into the mid-air collision in France on Monday (March 5) in which 68 people died, major world airlines banned their aircraft from flying over France ??? where military air controllers have been manning control towers during the strike by civil controllers. Airline pilots' associations from several countries also instructed their members not to fly over France -- despite strong French Government denials that the military controllers were to blame for the disaster.
The accident occurred at about 30,000 feet (10,000 metres). A London-bound Spanish Iberia Airlines DC9 and a Spanish Convair Coronado jet aircraft, also flying to London, converged and collided. The DC9, with 68 people on board, exploded and fell to the ground -- raining debris and bodies over a twenty-mile (32 kilometre) radius near Nantes in north-western France. The Coronado, belonging to the Spantax charter company, with 108 people on board, flew on crippled to make an emergency lading, escorted by a military aircraft, at a military airfield nearby Cognac -- with smoke billowing from one engine and a six-foot (two metre) piece of wing missing.
Most of the DC9's passengers were British holiday-makers returning home from Palms, M???orca. The Coronado was flying from Madrid with some Britons who had been surveying prospective holiday homes in Spain, and some Spaniards going on holiday to Britain. Most of its passengers were flown on to London or Spain by special aircraft, but some preferred to go home by train. This film, showing the debris of the wrecked DC9 and bodies being collected from the wreckage, also includes coverage of some of the Coronado's passengers arriving at London (Gatwick) Airport. In a sound-on-film interview, one of them described the drama -- and praised the aircraft's captain for his skill in flying the crippled jet to safety.