A Wish and a Prayer: The crash of UTAGE flight 141

The cockpit of UTAGE flight 141 lies on a Beninese beach after the crash. (aviationaccidents.net)
An old poster for Air Afrique. (republicoftogo.com)
3X-GDO, the aircraft involved in the accident. UTA’s first 727, 3X-GDE, would have looked very similar. (Aviation Safety Network)
The extremely convoluted ownership history of the 727, 3X-GDO. (BEA)
The planned route of flight 141. (Google)
Setting the scene: Cotonou International Airport. (Airports Data)
Some fragments of the cockpit conversation. (BEA)
How center of gravity is measured. (Antilived via Wikimedia)
Satellite view of Cotonou Airport. (Google)
My sketch of the moment of impact. (Own work)
Pieces of the plane’s tail resting in the shallow water. (Naharnet)
The cockpit of flight 141, from which two pilots and two airline executives were extracted alive. (aviationaccidents.net)
Another view of the aircraft’s wrecked tail section. (Bureau of Aircraft Accidents Archives)
Onlookers crowd around a section of the airplane. (China Daily)
Onlookers gather as debris from the crash washes up on the beach. (Bureau of Aircraft Accidents Archives)
People stand near the remains of the cockpit. (Laurence Journal-World)
Mangled wreckage of the plane was strewn across the beach. (Ramzi Haidar)
Another view of some of the mangled debris. (Ramzi Haidar)
All kinds of flotsam covered the beach after the crash. (Ramzi Haidar)
Identifiable among the debris was the plane’s number two engine intake. (Ramzi Haidar)
The roof of the localizer building can be seen on the right, with the landing gear in the foreground. (Ramzi Haidar)
A relative holds a picture of one of the victims of the crash. (Joseph Barrak)

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Analyzer of plane crashes and author of upcoming book (eventually™). Contact me via @Admiral_Cloudberg on Reddit or by email at kylanddempsey@gmail.com.

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Admiral Cloudberg

Admiral Cloudberg

Analyzer of plane crashes and author of upcoming book (eventually™). Contact me via @Admiral_Cloudberg on Reddit or by email at kylanddempsey@gmail.com.

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