Ethiopian Airlines Flight 604

Ethiopian Airlines Flight 604

An Ethiopian Airlines Boeing 737-200, similar to the one involved.
Accident summary
Date 15 September 1988
Summary Belly landing after bird strike
Site Bahir Dar Airport, Bahir Dar, Ethiopia
11°36′17″N 37°19′11″E / 11.60472°N 37.31972°E / 11.60472; 37.31972Coordinates: 11°36′17″N 37°19′11″E / 11.60472°N 37.31972°E / 11.60472; 37.31972
Passengers 98
Crew 6
Fatalities 35
Survivors 69
Aircraft type Boeing 737-200
Operator Ethiopian Airlines
Registration ET-AJA
Flight origin Bole International Airport
Last stopover Bahir Dar Airport
Destination Asmara International Airport

Ethiopian Airlines Flight 604 was a scheduled Addis AbabaBahir DarAsmara flight, that caught fire during a belly landing at Bahir Dar Airport, Bahir Dar, Ethiopia, on 15 September 1988.


The aircraft involved in the accident was a Boeing 737-260, registration ET-AJA, delivered new to Ethiopian Airlines. At the time of the accident the aircraft was less than a year old.[1]

Accident description

On 15 September 1988,[2]:51 the aircraft was due operate the second leg of a domestic scheduled Addis Ababa–Bahir Dar–Asmara passenger service with 104 occupants on board, of whom 98 were passengers.[1][3] Both engines of the aircraft ingested a flock of speckled pigeons as it took off from Bahir Dar Airport, and subsequently overheated.[1] One of the engines immediately lost thrust, while the other did so on the emergency return to the departure airport.[4] During a gear-up landing, the aircraft caught fire.[1]

There is some discrepancy over the death toll depending upon the source, as this number is claimed to be 35,[1] or 31.[4][5][6] The discrepancy likely arose because four bodies could not be recovered.[6] All of the fatalities were among the passengers.[1]

See also


  1. 1 2 3 4 5 6 Accident description at the Aviation Safety Network
  2. "At least 31 dead, 71 hurt in Ethiopian plane crash". Deseret News. 16 September 1988. Archived from the original on 10 August 2013.
  3. 1 2 "Ethiopian Airlines Plane Crashes Since 1970".
  4. "Profile: Ethiopian Airlines". BBC News. 25 January 2010. Archived from the original on 27 August 2016.
  5. 1 2 "31 morts dans la chute d'un Boeing éthiopien" [31 death after an Ethiopian Boeing crashed] (in French). Le Monde. AFP, Reuter. 18 September 1988. Archived from the original on 27 August 2016.
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