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19 September 1989 - UTA 772

UTA Flight 772 of the French airline Union des Transports Aériens was a scheduled flight operating from Brazzaville in the Republic of Congo, via N'Djamena in Chad, to Paris CDG airport in France.

On 19 September 1989 the McDonnell Douglas DC-10 aircraft registered N54629 took off from N'Djamena International Airport at 13:13. Forty six minutes later, at its cruising altitude of 10,700 metres (35,000 ft), an explosion caused UTA Flight 772 to break up over the Sahara Desert near the towns of Bilma and Ténéré in Niger. All 156 passengers and 14 crew members died, including Bonnie Pugh, wife of the American ambassador to Chad, Robert Pugh.

The explosive device was located at location 13R in the cargo hold. The device was most probably hidden in baggage, placed aboard at Brazzaville. Possible groups responsible for the explosion are the Islamic Jihad group (demanding the freedom of a Shi'ite Muslim in Israel) or the Secret Chadian Resistance. Co-incidental on March 10, 1984 another UTA aircraft was destroyed when a bomb exploded; in this case the bomb exploded during embarkation at N'Djamena.


Transcript of the Cockpit Voice Recorder (CVR)

12.00 UT 772 N'Djamena UTA 772
NDJ UTA 772 N'Djamena
UT 772 Yes, we are ready to start-up to Paris.
NDJ Roger, start up, temperature 33, dew point 22, Fox Echo 9. 7.5. and QNH 1010, the 23, report to taxi.
UT 772 Yes, starting up, call you back to taxi UT 772. We'll take the 05 if possible.
NDJ OK for 05, report to taxi.
UT 772 Willdo.
N24RM N'Djamena N 24 RM evelling at 095.
NDJ 124RM report TMA out.
N24RM ....
12.02 UT 772 Last wind for UT 772.
NDJ 220 240 6 to 8 knots.
12.08 UT 772 N'Djamena UT 772 we are ready to taxi.
NDJ 772 taxi mid-taxiway, enter and back track.
UT 772 So, we taxi via mid-taxiway and back track 05.
NDJ OK for 05.
12.10 NDJ 772, clearance.
UT 772 Go ahead Sir.
NDJ Left turn after take-off, initial climb to 280 by BOSSO.
UT 772 Roger left turn after take-off and climb to 280 initially BOSSO UTA 772.
NDJ Correct and report lined up to take-off.
UT 772 I call you lined up.
...
...
12.12 UT 772 N'Djamena UTA 772 to take off.
NDJ 772 Clear to line up and take off 240,6 knots.
UT 772 772 taking off runway 05.
12.16 NDJ UTA 772 take-off at 13 call back for estimates.
UT 772 Roger.
12.17 UT 772 Ready for estimates ?
NDJ Go ahead.
UT 772 Well BOSSO at 12.35 hrs FIR flying out at 13.10 hrs arrival at Paris Charles de Gaulle at 17.19 hrs one seven one nine, we pass level 70 climbing to 280 initially.
NDJ Roger 772 report passing 240 to climb.
UT 772 Affirm report passing 240 to 280.
12.22 UT 772 N'Djamena UTA 772 approaching 240 to 280

FREQUENCY 128.1

12.23 UT 772 N'Djamena Info UT 772 good day approaching 240 to 280 initially.
NDJ UTA 722 good day report 280.
UT 772 Roger. Request higher.
NDJ Yes. Giving you a traffic information, Air Zaire 002 flying from Kinshasa to Brussels is at level 310 and ENBUT point estimated at one two two five at 12.25 hrs, INISA at 12.57 hrs, it is a DC-10, you report approaching 280 for higher.
UT 772 Ok thank you.
NDJ You estimate BOSS at 35 correct?
UT 772 BOSSO at 34.
NDJ 34 Roger. For the time I have no contact, report approaching 280. |
UT 772 Roger.
NDJ Zaire 002 N'Djamena
AZR 002 Right N'Djamena we are checking ENBUT at level 310 .
NDJ Roger report INISA.
AZR 002 Read you 002.
NDJ UTA 77 you.
UT 772 UTA 772 crossing 310 to 350.
12.29 NDJ UTA 772 report leveling 350.
UT 772 OK, report 350 steady .
12.32 UT 772 UTA 772 steady level 350 BOSSO within 2 minutes.
NDJ Roger, report passing FIR.
UT 772 Roger.
NDJ UTA 772 N'Djamena
NDJ UTA 772 N'Djamena
12.34 UT 772 N'Dgamena UTA 772
NDJ 772 I request coordinates of the outbound point on FIR boundary N'Djamena
UT 772 Confirm ?
NDJ Coordinate of FIR outbound points.
UT 772 All right, that will be 18.07 north 11.30 east.
NDJ Roger report passing the FIR on 8903.
UT 772 Wilko. Making a relay for you.
NDJ OK, transmit thank you.
UT 772 Well it's S.A.Z. 01 flying Zurich-N'Djamena level 410. Checked TUMMO at 7 and estimates N'Djamena at time 13.42.
NDJ Read well read thank you very much.
NDJ He call me back DIRKOU.
UT 772 DIRKOU ?
UT 772 Sierra Alpha Zulu
N24RM N'Djamena 24 Romeo Mike.
NDJ 24 Romeo Mike N'Djamena.
N24RM 24 RM we'd like descend from flight level 095 to 3,500 feet.
NDJ Roger call maintaining 3,500 feet.
N24RM OK 24 RM.

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