|Crash site||Nairobi/Embakasi Airport, Kenya|
|Aircraft||Boeing 747-130 – D-ABYB – Hessen|
|Route||Frankfurt – Nairobi – Johannesburg|
|Crew||17 – 13 survivors|
|Passengers||140 – 85 survivors|
Shortly after take off from Nairobi the crew felt vibrations. The captain, suspecting wheel imbalance, raised the gear. A lack of acceleration forced the crew to lower the nose in order to maintain airspeed. The Boeing continued to descend however and at 07:54 the plane hit the ground 1120 m past the end of runway 24 and struck an elevated road a little further on. The aircraft broke up and caught fire before coming to rest 454 m past the initial point of impact.
The accident was caused by the crew initiating a take-off with the leading edge flaps retracted because the pneumatic system which operates them had not been switched on. This resulted in the aircraft becoming airborne in a partially stalled condition which the pilots did not identify in the short time available to them for recovery. An other factor was the lack of a warning of a critical flap positions.
On board the plane was mail destined for South Africa and Botswana and sent from a wide range of countries in Asia, Europe and Africa.
A part of the mail was recovered. Contemporary newspapers talk of 10.000 letters being recovered – most of the mail came from Germany.
The South African Post applied a special handstamp on all the recovered items.
As to Nordic mail I have recorded the following number of items:
|To South Africa||11||1||2||4|
Probably more identical handstampe were produced, as they appear in a variety of colour shades.
Examples of mail