Chateau de Sully
F-BHSM was the registration
Aircraft registration
An aircraft registration is a unique alphanumeric string that identifies a civil aircraft, in similar fashion to a licence plate on an automobile...

 and callsign of a Boeing 707
Boeing 707
The Boeing 707 is a four-engine narrow-body commercial passenger jet airliner developed by Boeing in the early 1950s. Its name is most commonly pronounced as "Seven Oh Seven". The first airline to operate the 707 was Pan American World Airways, inaugurating the type's first commercial flight on...

 named Chateau de Sully used by Air France
Air France
Air France , stylised as AIRFRANCE, is the French flag carrier headquartered in Tremblay-en-France, , and is one of the world's largest airlines. It is a subsidiary of the Air France-KLM Group and a founding member of the SkyTeam global airline alliance...

 for Flight 007, a charter flight which crashed on June 3, 1962 while attempting to depart Paris
Paris is the capital and largest city in France, situated on the river Seine, in northern France, at the heart of the Île-de-France region...

's Orly Airport en route to Atlanta, Georgia
Georgia (U.S. state)
Georgia is a state located in the southeastern United States. It was established in 1732, the last of the original Thirteen Colonies. The state is named after King George II of Great Britain. Georgia was the fourth state to ratify the United States Constitution, on January 2, 1788...

 via New York City's Idlewild Airport (now John F. Kennedy International Airport
John F. Kennedy International Airport
John F. Kennedy International Airport is an international airport located in the borough of Queens in New York City, about southeast of Lower Manhattan. It is the busiest international air passenger gateway to the United States, handling more international traffic than any other airport in North...

). The 707 carried 122 passengers and 10 crew, of whom 130 died.

Accident narrative

According to witnesses, during the takeoff
Takeoff is the phase of flight in which an aerospace vehicle goes from the ground to flying in the air.For horizontal takeoff aircraft this usually involves starting with a transition from moving along the ground on a runway. For balloons, helicopters and some specialized fixed-wing aircraft , no...

 roll on runway 8, the nose of Flight 007 rotated
Rotation (aviation)
In aviation, rotation refers to the action of applying back pressure to a control device, such as a yoke, side-stick or centre stick, to lift the nose wheel off the ground during the takeoff roll...

 off the runway, but the jet failed to lift off, its main landing gear
Landing Gear
Landing Gear is Devin the Dude's fifth studio album. It was released on October 7, 2008. It was his first studio album since signing with the label Razor & Tie. It features a high-profile guest appearance from Snoop Dogg. As of October 30, 2008, the album has sold 18,906 copies.-Track...

 remaining on the ground. A motor driving the elevator
Elevator (aircraft)
Elevators are flight control surfaces, usually at the rear of an aircraft, which control the aircraft's orientation by changing the pitch of the aircraft, and so also the angle of attack of the wing. In simplified terms, they make the aircraft nose-up or nose-down...

 trim had failed, leaving the pilots with insufficient control authority to complete rotation and liftoff. With no other choice, the flight crew attempted to abort the take off
Rejected takeoff
A rejected takeoff or RTO is the situation in which it is decided to abort the takeoff of an airplane...

 even though the aircraft had already exceeded V1, the maximum speed at which a takeoff can be aborted and the aircraft stopped within the available runway length.

With less than 3000 feet (914.4 m) of runway remaining, the pilots attempted to stop the 707 using wheel brakes and reverse thrust. After braking hard enough to destroy tires and wheels on the main landing gear, the plane ran off the end of the runway and burst into flame after the left undercarriage failed. Two flight attendants seated in the back of the cabin survived the crash and fire. A third flight attendant survived the disaster but later died in hospital. At the time, it was the world's worst air disaster involving one aircraft.

Impact on Atlanta, Georgia

The Atlanta Art Association had sponsored a month long tour of the art treasures of Europe and 106 of the passengers were art patrons heading home to Atlanta on this charter flight. The tour group included many of Atlanta's cultural and civic leaders. Atlanta mayor Ivan Allen Jr.
Ivan Allen Jr.
Ivan Allen, Jr., was a U.S. businessman and Democratic political figure most notable for serving two terms as the 52nd Mayor of Atlanta, Georgia during the turbulent civil rights era of the 1960s.-Biography:...

 went to Orly to inspect the crash site where so many important Atlantans perished.

During their visit to Paris, the Atlanta arts patrons had seen Whistler's Mother
Whistler's Mother
Arrangement in Grey and Black: The Artist's Mother, famous under its colloquial name Whistler's Mother, is an 1871 oil-on-canvas painting by American-born painter James McNeill Whistler. The painting is , displayed in a frame of Whistler's own design, and is now owned by the Musée d'Orsay in Paris....

at the Louvre
The Musée du Louvre – in English, the Louvre Museum or simply the Louvre – is one of the world's largest museums, the most visited art museum in the world and a historic monument. A central landmark of Paris, it is located on the Right Bank of the Seine in the 1st arrondissement...

. In late 1962, the Louvre, as a gesture of good will to the people of Atlanta, sent Whistler's Mother to Atlanta to be exhibited at the Atlanta Art Association museum on Peachtree Street.

The Woodruff Arts Center
Woodruff Arts Center
Woodruff Arts Center is a major visual and performing arts center located in Atlanta. The center houses four arts divisions in one campus and not-for-profit organization...

, originally called the Memorial Arts Center and one of the United States' largest, was founded in 1968 in memory of those who died in the crash. The loss to the city was a catalyst for the arts in Atlanta, helped create this memorial to the victims, and led to the creation of the Atlanta Arts Alliance. The French government donated a Rodin
Auguste Rodin
François-Auguste-René Rodin , known as Auguste Rodin , was a French sculptor. Although Rodin is generally considered the progenitor of modern sculpture, he did not set out to rebel against the past...

 sculpture, The Shade, to the High
High Museum of Art
The High Museum of Art , located in Atlanta, is the leading art museum in the Southeastern United States and one of the most-visited art museums in the world. Located on Peachtree Street in Midtown, the city's arts district, the High is a division of the Woodruff Arts Center.-History:The Museum was...

 in memory of the victims of the crash. Ann Uhry Abrams, the author of Explosion at Orly: The True Account of the Disaster that Transformed Atlanta, described the incident as "Atlanta’s version of September 11 in that the impact on the city in 1962 was comparable to New York of September 11."

The crash occurred during the civil rights movement
Civil rights movement
The civil rights movement was a worldwide political movement for equality before the law occurring between approximately 1950 and 1980. In many situations it took the form of campaigns of civil resistance aimed at achieving change by nonviolent forms of resistance. In some situations it was...

 in the United States. Civil rights leader Martin Luther King, Jr.
Martin Luther King, Jr.
Martin Luther King, Jr. was an American clergyman, activist, and prominent leader in the African-American Civil Rights Movement. He is best known for being an iconic figure in the advancement of civil rights in the United States and around the world, using nonviolent methods following the...

 and entertainer & activist Harry Belafonte
Harry Belafonte
Harold George "Harry" Belafonte, Jr. is an American singer, songwriter, actor and social activist. He was dubbed the "King of Calypso" for popularizing the Caribbean musical style with an international audience in the 1950s...

 announced cancellation of a sit-in
A sit-in or sit-down is a form of protest that involves occupying seats or sitting down on the floor of an establishment.-Process:In a sit-in, protesters remain until they are evicted, usually by force, or arrested, or until their requests have been met...

 in downtown Atlanta (a protest of the city's racial segregation
Racial segregation
Racial segregation is the separation of humans into racial groups in daily life. It may apply to activities such as eating in a restaurant, drinking from a water fountain, using a public toilet, attending school, going to the movies, or in the rental or purchase of a home...

) as a conciliatory gesture to the grieving city. However, Nation of Islam
Nation of Islam
The Nation of Islam is a mainly African-American new religious movement founded in Detroit, Michigan by Wallace D. Fard Muhammad in July 1930 to improve the spiritual, mental, social, and economic condition of African-Americans in the United States of America. The movement teaches black pride and...

 leader Malcolm X
Malcolm X
Malcolm X , born Malcolm Little and also known as El-Hajj Malik El-Shabazz , was an African American Muslim minister and human rights activist. To his admirers he was a courageous advocate for the rights of African Americans, a man who indicted white America in the harshest terms for its...

, speaking in Los Angeles
Los Ángeles
Los Ángeles is the capital of the province of Biobío, in the commune of the same name, in Region VIII , in the center-south of Chile. It is located between the Laja and Biobío rivers. The population is 123,445 inhabitants...

, expressed joy over the deaths of the all-white group from Atlanta, saying "I would like to announce a very beautiful thing that has happened...I got a wire from God today...well, all right, somebody came and told me that he really had answered our prayers over in France. He dropped an airplane out of the sky with over 120 white people on it because the Muslims believe in an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth. But thanks to God, or Jehovah, or Allah, we will continue to pray, and we hope that every day another plane falls out of the sky." These remarks led Los Angeles Mayor Sam Yorty to denounce him as a "fiend" and Dr. King to voice disagreement with his statement. Malcolm later remarked that "The Messenger should have done more." This incident was the first in which Malcolm X gained widespread national attention.

In art and popular culture

Andy Warhol
Andy Warhol
Andrew Warhola , known as Andy Warhol, was an American painter, printmaker, and filmmaker who was a leading figure in the visual art movement known as pop art...

 painted his first "disaster painting", 129 Die in Jet! based on the June 4, 1962 cover of New York Mirror
New York Mirror
The New-York Mirror was a weekly newspaper published in New York City from 1823 to 1842, and again as a daily newspaper renamed The Evening Mirror from 1844 to 1898.-History:...

, the day after the crash. At that time, the death count was 129.

Ann Uhry Abrams wrote a biography of the passengers entitled Explosion at Orly, published in 2002. It detailed the lives of the passengers prior to their trip to Paris and the resulting effect the disaster had on Atlanta.

External links

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