Algerian Military Transport Lockheed C-130H-30 Hercules transport aircraft carrying military families from Tamanrasset Airport, southern Algeria, to Constantine (North-East city) crashed at around 12.00 today Tuesday February 11 killing 77 of the 78 occupants. The aircraft had made a stop at Ouargla, central Algeria.
The aircraft, operated by al-Quwwat al-Jawwiya al-Jaza'eriya, crashed into a mountainous area around thirty kilometres short of its target, Constantine-Mohamed Boudiaf International Airport, at Ain Kercha, during the approach phase. The aircraft in question made its first flight in 1982. It was damaged beyond repair upon contact with the ground. There are indications that the aircraft was flying an ILS (Instrument Landing System) approach, aiming at landing on runway 34 at Constantine.
77 of the occupants of the aircraft were killed, there were numerous women and children among the victims and there is one survivor. The aircraft exploded upon impact. One question is whether the approach was being made early for some reason, since the location is at 16 DME (16 miles from the DME beacon), while approach charts indicate that a CAT C or D ILS approach should be made at 12.5 DME from an altitude of 6.730 feet.
The weather conditions were described at the scene as "bad" and "wintery" which included a storm and heavy snow.