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OO-SJB

 

Boeing 707-329 (17624/92)

 

Date
Registration
Company
History
20/11/59 - Boeing Rolled out at Renton
31/12/59 - - Made its first flight from Renton
04/01/60 - Sabena Handed over at Seattle
11/01/60 OO-SJB - Registered with Belgian CoA 1289
17/01/60 - - Ferried to Brussels
15/02/60 - - Inaugurated Brussels-Rome-Leopoldsville-Johannesburg service
02/04/60 - - Inaugurated Brussels-Leopoldsville-Elizabethville-Johannesburg service
09/07/60 - - Participated Congo airlift (together with SJA, SJC, SJD and SJE: 62 flights with average of 250 pax)
15/02/61 - - Crashed at Berg (Kampenhout) 1005 local time on approach to Brussels from Idlewild (flight SN548). Went into a steep dive after stalling and exploded on the ground. 61 pax, 11 crew and 1 chicory farmer (Théo Delaet) on the ground died instantly. One farmer suffered severe burnings and lost a leg. Crew did consist of: captain Louis Lambrechts, co pilot Jean Roy, navigator Jean-Marie Kindt, flight engineer Leon Eduare, flight attendants Paul Devos, Marcel De Maeyer, Pierre Franc Vandenbussche, Robert Valeppe, Henry Verminnen, Jaqueline Trullemans and Jacqueline Rombaut. Official probable cause was material failure on the flights controls. Most plausible hypothesis was a malfunction of the stabilizer adjusting mechanism permitting the stabilizer to run to the 10.5deg nose-up position. TAT 3037 hrs. Note: the tail of this airframe was not modified.
00/02/61 - - Remains of the plane were carried to Melsbroek
15/03/61 - - Canx from register
10/02/01 - - Memorial stone was unveiled on the site of the crash at the Lemmekenstraat, Berg-Kampenhout. Inscription says: "Hier stortte op 15 februari 1961 een Boeing 707 van SABENA neer. Wij herdenken de 73 slachtoffers". Freely translated it means: "At this spot, on February 15 1961, a B707 of SABENA went down. We commemorate the 73 victims".

Memorial stone photographed on June 9 2005 (photo by Skystef)

 

Following sources are greatly acknowledged.

Individual Aircraft History of the Boeing 707 (Buchair USA)
The Boeing 707-720 and C-135 (Air-Britain Publication)
Airliners in Belgium - BCARG special 1 Boeing 707 Intercontinental (Aviation Society of Antwerp vzw)
World Directory of Airliner Crashes (PSL)
Belgian Civil Aircraft since 1920 (MCP)
Chronicle of Aviation (JLIP)
Chronique de l'Aviation  (JLIP)

Jet Airliner Production List (TAHS)
JP Airline Fleets (Buchair)
Sabena 70 jaar luchtvaartpionier
Magazines: Aviation Letter, Scramble, Luftfahrt Journal, Jetstream, Carnets de Vol, Onze/Notre Sabena
Het Laatste Nieuws
Various text and photo material to be found on the internet like the B707 database maintained by Servaas Verbrugge.
Frans Van Humbeek for checking info on the tail modifications.

Please send additions or corrections to  SkyStef