.mw-parser-output .hidden-begin{box-sizing:border-box;width:100%;padding:5px;border:none;font-size:95%}.mw-parser-output .hidden-title{font-weight:bold;line-height:1.6;text-align:left}.mw-parser-output .hidden-content{text-align:left}You can help expand this article with text translated from the corresponding article in French. Click [show] for important translation instructions. Machine translation, like DeepL or Google Translate, is a useful starting point for translations, but translators must revise errors as necessary and confirm that the translation is accurate, rather than simply copy-pasting machine-translated text into the English Wikipedia. Consider adding a topic to this template: there are already 5,966 articles in the main category, and specifying|topic= will aid in categorization. Do not translate text that appears unreliable or low-quality. If possible, verify the text with references provided in the foreign-language article. You must provide copyright attribution in the edit summary accompanying your translation by providing an interlanguage link to the source of your translation. A model attribution edit summary is Content in this edit is translated from the existing French Wikipedia article at [[:fr:Vol Air France 406]]; see its history for attribution. You should also add the template ((Translated|fr|Vol Air France 406)) to the talk page. For more guidance, see Wikipedia:Translation.
Air France Flight 406
A TWA Starliner similar to the accident aircraft
Date10 May 1961
SummaryBombing in flight
SiteSahara Desert
Aircraft typeLockheed L-1649 Starliner
Aircraft nameDe Grasse
OperatorAir France
Flight originBrazzaville, Congo
1st stopoverFort Lamy Airport, Fort Lamy (now N'Djamena), Chad
Last stopoverMarseille-Marignane Airport, Marseille, France (did not arrive)
DestinationParis, France

Air France Flight 406 was a Lockheed L-1649 Starliner that crashed in French Algeria on May 10, 1961, after a bomb exploded on board. All 78 passengers and crew on board were killed. It was the deadliest aviation disaster involving a Lockheed Starliner.[1]


Air France Flight 406 was an international scheduled passenger flight originating in Brazzaville, Congo, on a route with the final destination Paris, France. Intermediate stops were Fort Lamy, Chad, and Marseille, France. The flight was flown by a Lockheed L-1649 Starliner, F-BHBM De Grasse.

After taking off from Fort Lamy, and while cruising at an altitude of approximately 20,000 feet (6,100 m), the Starliner broke up after its empennage failed. The plane crashed to earth approximately 35 miles (56 km) from Edjele oilfield, near the Libya border.[2] All aboard Flight 406 were killed.[3]

Eighteen children were among the dead. Among them were the three young children of the United States Charge d'Affaires in the Central African Republic, who, along with their mother (the charge's wife), were on Flight 406 headed for London. Also among the dead were a count and countess, plus two Central African Republic government ministers. Rumors began to surface after Flight 406's crash that it had been an assassination by enemies of the Central African Republic.[4]


The most probable cause of Air France Flight 406 crashing was sabotage with a nitrocellulose explosive.[5]

See also


  1. ^ Aviation Safety Database Lockheed L-1649 Starliner
  2. ^ Seek to reach wreckage of French airliner
  3. ^ Aircraft accident Lockheed L-1649A Starliner F-BHBM Edjele
  4. ^ 18 children die in desert crash
  5. ^ Gero, David (1996). Aviation Disasters Second Edition. Patrick Stephens Limited. p. 42.