|Crash site||Near Paris/Orly airport, France|
|Aircraft||Boeing 707 – PP-VJZ|
|Route||Sao Paulo – Rio de Janeiro – Paris/Orly|
|Crew||17 – 10 survivors|
|Passengers||117 – 1 survivor|
The flight from Rio de Janeiro was uneventful. At 13:58 the flight crew contacted Orly and reported a “problem with fire on board”. An emergency descent was requested. At 13:59 clearance was given to descend for a runway 07 landing making a straight-in approach possible. The situation on board was getting worse (smoke entering the cockpit and passengers becoming asphyxiated). The flight crew put on oxygen masks as smoke was making it impossible to read the instruments. At 14:03 the pilot decided to make an emergency landing 5 km short of the runway. The aircraft truncated some small trees and made a heavy landing on a field near Saulx-les-Chartreux. Both main gears collapsed and the engines were torn off in the subsequent skid. The fuselage however, remained intact.
The fire appears to have started in the aft right toilet. It was detected because smoke had entered the adjacent left toilet. The fire may have been started by an electrical fault or by the carelessness of a passenger. The lack of visibility in the cockpit prompted the crew to decide on a forced landing.
The plane carried mail from Brazil to European countries (France, the Netherlands, Belgium, Great Britain etc.). The only Nordic item so far recorded is a cover addressed to Finland.
Only some a part of the mail could be recovered and usually the items were much damaged by fire. The charred covers were often forwarded in different types of French service covers. Most of the mail also show a French handstamp (2 different main types are known).
Examples of mail