Australasian Philatelic Traders' Association   The Philatelic Traders Society
Internet Philatelic Dealers Association   Western Australia Owned
RSPCA Supporter

Lot No. 724

Auction No. 26
Category World Airmails
Est. $120
Status Archived



Kenya/Belgium/South Africa 1974 (18th Nov) Antwerp to Johannesburg Nairobi Lufthansa crash cover bearing a strike in violet of the English/Afrikaans cachet, "RECOVERED FROM AIR CRASH ON 20 NOVEMBER 1974 AT NAIROBI / HERWEN VAN LUGRAMP OP 20 NOVEMBER 1974 TE NAIROBI." Antwerp Belgium red paid franking dated 18.11.74 with red "EXPRESS Spoedbestelling" h/s with neighbouring Antwerp 18.11.74 12.15 cds. Rosettenville Johannesburg b/s. Some faults as usual but scarce. Lufthansa Flight 540 was a scheduled commercial flight for Lufthansa operated with a Boeing 747-100, carrying 157 people (140 passengers and 17 crew members). The flight was operating the final segment of its Frankfurt–Nairobi–Johannesburg route. On 20 November 1974 it crashed and caught fire shortly past the runway on take-off. This was the first fatal accident and third hull loss of a Boeing 747. This was also the third fatal accident involving a wide-body aircraft, after Eastern Air Lines Flight 401 in 1972 and the crash of Turkish Airlines Flight 981 earlier in 1974. To date, it is also the deadliest plane crash to occur on Kenyan soil. There were 61 fatalities with the aircraft completely destroyed by fire. Investigation determined that the cause of the crash was a stall at low altitude precipitated by pilot error in not extending the leading-edge flaps for take-off. This procedure is now automated on 747's in current service. Recovered mail (mainly destined for South Africa) was forwarded on after receiving the bilingual English/Afrikaans cachet. Similar cover sold in Ace Auctions Sale 18 for $370 +BP.


Image represents the entire lot.