Inferno on the Hajj: The crash of Nigeria Airways flight 2120

Part of flight 2120’s tail section lies in the desert outside Jeddah after the crash. (Aviation Safety Network)
A group photo of several dozen Nationair employees in front of one of the airline’s DC-8s. (Nationair Canada on Facebook)
Pilgrims on Hajj congregate around the Kaaba, the holiest site in Islam. (Islamic Relief UK)
C-GMXQ, the aircraft involved in the accident. (Pedro Aragão)
Analysis of the markings on the A-check tire pressure sheet. (TSB Canada)
Actual and planned legs for C-GMXQ on the day before and day of the accident. (Google + own work)
A view of Jeddah’s Hajj terminal. (CN Traveler)
A diagram of the locations of the main landing gear tires. #2 and #4 were said to be low. (KSA Presidency of Civil Aviation)
The dashed line shows the route taken by the plane during taxiing. (KSA Presidency of Civil Aviation)
Although the quality is poor, it is still possible to see marks left on the runway by the damaged wheel rim. (KSA Presidency of Civil Aviation)
A CGI rendering of the plane as it climbed away from the airport. (Mayday)
The same CGI animation shows the escalating scale of the fire. (Mayday)
Diagram of the flight path. (KSA Presidency of Civil Aviation)
This animation from Mayday season 11 episode 9: “Under Pressure,” depicts the plane’s final moments.
Archival footage of the crash scene. (Mayday)
Debris litters the desert after the crash. (Aviation Safety Network)
Pieces of fuselage were launched a considerable distance by the blast. (Aviation Safety Network)
Part of the fuselage still bore the plane’s registration. (Aviation Safety Network)
The DC-8’s tail section came to rest at the start of the wreckage field. Normally when a plane dives into the ground in a nose-down attitude, the tail section continues to the end of the wreckage field. Its placement led to speculation that the tail broke off in the air, but this could not be confirmed. (Aviation Safety Network)
Much of the crash scene looked like this: a field of unidentifiable scraps of metal. (Aviation Safety Network)
Another piece of the DC-8’s tail section. (Aviation Safety Network)
Some of the crewmembers who perished in the crash. (Zulal Cartmell)
A memorial to the crewmembers who died on flight 2120. (Nationair Canada on Facebook)




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

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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

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