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Last updated: 1 December 2021
Date:Monday 3 September 1979
Type:Silhouette image of generic S601 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Aérospatiale SN.601 Corvette
Operator:Sterling Airways
Registration: OY-SBS
MSN: 21
First flight: 1975
Total airframe hrs:5161
Engines: 2 Pratt & Whitney Canada JT15D-4
Crew:Fatalities: 2 / Occupants: 2
Passengers:Fatalities: 8 / Occupants: 8
Total:Fatalities: 10 / Occupants: 10
Aircraft damage: Destroyed
Aircraft fate: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Location:1 km (0.6 mls) SW off Nice-Côte d'Azur Airport (NCE) (   France)
Phase: Approach (APR)
Nature:Int'l Non Scheduled Passenger
Departure airport:Coventry-Baginton Airport (CVT/EGBE), United Kingdom
Destination airport:Nice-Côte d'Azur Airport (NCE/LFMN), France
An Aérospatiale SN.601 Corvette corporate jet, registration OY-SBS, operated by Sterling Airways from Denmark, was destroyed when it crashed into the sea near Nice-Côte d'Azur Airport (NCE), France. The eight passengers and both crew members were killed.
Flight NB4133 departed Copenhagen on the day of the accident on a flight to Stockholm. Three passengers embarked and the flight continued to Coventry-Baginton Airport (CVT), UK. The airplane was refueled and another six passengers embarked. The flight departed at 14:30 and continued to Nice at an altitude of FL290. The descent for Nice was uneventful until 18:02 local time at FL200 when the airplane suffered a double engine fire. The crew reported an emergency and were cleared direct to Nice for an emergency landing. Nice Approach vectored the crew for an emergency landing at Nice runway 05. The airplane was on finals when it crashed into the sea about 1 km from the runway.

Probable Cause:

CAUSES OF THE ACCIDENT: "The accident resulted from the impact of the aircraft at sea following a loss of control during the last turn, both engines being switched off.
The final flame out of the left engine resulted from a mechanical failure of the accessory drive gearbox. The right engine could not be relit, and the causes of its definitive flame out remain undetermined."

All engine powerloss
Loss of control


photo of Aérospatiale-SN-601-Corvette-OY-SBS
accident date: 03-09-1979
type: Aérospatiale SN.601 Corvette
registration: OY-SBS
photo of Aérospatiale-SN-601-Corvette-OY-SBS
accident date: 03-09-1979
type: Aérospatiale SN.601 Corvette
registration: OY-SBS
photo of Aérospatiale-SN-601-Corvette-F-BVPE
accident date: 03-09-1979
type: Aérospatiale SN.601 Corvette
registration: F-BVPE

This map shows the airport of departure and the intended destination of the flight. The line between the airports does not display the exact flight path.
Distance from Coventry-Baginton Airport to Nice-Côte d'Azur Airport as the crow flies is 1154 km (721 miles).
Accident location: Approximate; accuracy within a few kilometers.

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SN.601 Corvette

  • 40 built
  • 3rd loss
  • 2nd fatal accident
  • The worst accident
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  • 60th worst accident (at the time)
  • 68th worst accident (currently)
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