Each year upwards of 2 million of the faithful make the journey to follow the path of the profit Muhammad to a number of holy sites before their pilgrimage rites are considered complete. Muslims from around the world make this journey which, in modern times, is often completed using air travel, as it was in 1991 when Nigeria Airways wet leased a Douglas DC8 operated by Nationair Canada to help them cope with the season’s increase in passenger traffic due to the Hajj. Under the hot sun of the Arabian desert, the scene was set for a disaster.


A Nationair DC8


King Abdulaziz International airport in Jeddah


The Maintenance Record analysis


The DC8 gear


A typical brake fire


Excerpt from the accident report


Excerpt from the accident report


Conditions in the cabin became unsurvivable



Images under Creative Commons licence with thanks to Pedro Aragão, Yousefmadari, ICAO and the USAF.