ZEVENBERGEN - A Cityhopper NLM which was en route from Rotterdam to Eindhoven crashed near Moerdijk industrial estate. All seventeen passengers were killed. Perhaps the bad weather has played a role in the crash.

The device, an F28 Fellowship, of airline NLM, a subsidiary of KLM. The plane was around 17:05 hours left from airport Zestienhoven. Eight minutes later, radio contact was unexpected way. No distress call was issued.

According to eyewitnesses, there was a tornado in Moerdijk. They have seen that flew around there, it broke a wing and that the device then crashed.

"The unit then whirled, driven by the whirlwind, to the track to. And a huge fireball broke into millions of pieces. "

(eyewitness, Vrije Volk, 08-10-1981 )

An employee of the nearby Tetra Pak BV stood a distance away.

"I saw a flash fire, which was followed by an explosion with an ascending mushroom as of an atomic bomb. It happened on one and a half kilometers of our company. "

(eyewitness, Vrije Volk, 08-10-1981)

One of his colleagues was slightly closer to the crash site. After the hit, he ran to the phone, or what was left of it, but he saw no one who could be saved. A short time later, several motorists stood blankly and helplessly watch the burning remains of the plane.

The debris of the unit are spread over an area of 1 square kilometers. The broken wing was later found in the Moerdijk Port Red Vaart.


were on board the aircraft four crew and thirteen passengers. The device would pick up some passengers in Eindhoven and then fly to Hamburg.

Among the passengers were also many businessmen. The accident took nine West Germans, two British and one American life. Besides the four Dutch crew there was also a passenger in Vlaardingen.

An eighteenth victim died on the ground. It's about a firefighter who suffered a heart attack.

Currency Change

According to the Civil Aviation Authority was the pilot of the unit informed of the bad weather. The unit therefore had already fled south, to avoid a storm area.

Yet KLM pilots have expressed surprise at the fact that the pilot with a relatively small device is flown by this bad weather.

(The article continues below this advertisement)


One of the possible disaster scenarios is that the device is struck by lightning. The unit would 'already burning "have hit the ground. Several witnesses stated that they saw a "fireball", before the plane landed.

According to the Association of Airline Pilots, it is virtually impossible that the crash was caused by lightning. In the history of aviation is because since 1949 not a single case in which lightning played a role in an accident. "The disaster in Brabant seems rather the result of severe turbulence, causing enormous forces come to be on the phone ", said a spokesman.

More clarity should come from the black box with all flight, by a young man in the disaster area is found.

'Black page…'

NLM Director A.J. Leijer calls the accident with the City-hopper "a black page in the young history of Dutch Airlines'. The director says that she has sent an investigation team to the crash site.

The team includes specialists from the NLM and KLM. Also, the Civil Aviation of the National Police launched an investigation. "Despite the age of the captain (33 jaar) it was an excellent flyer ", says Leijer.

"What happened is still a mystery. We see no reason as yet all Fokker F28-toestellenaan keep the soil. If necessary, will tell the study. "

(A.J. Leijer, Telegraph, 08-10-1981)

The misfortune of today is the first in the fifteen year history of NLM. The company is a subsidiary of KLM and went into 1966 starting with domestic flights from Rotterdam, Groningen, Enschede, Maastricht and Eindhoven. A few years later there were also a few foreign destinations such as Hamburg at

Hoe ging het verder?

The cause of the disaster was evident again. called microbursts in thunderstorms occur. These are areas which are released very heavy forces on the device in a short time. When the accident was converted 6G (six times the force of gravity) be on the wing broke.

Four victims are identified after all passengers were. The bodies were first brought to Woensdrecht. The four unknowns are buried in a grave in Amsterdam.

Op 6 oktober 1981 held a memorial ceremony in the King Church in Amsterdam for fourteen of the seventeen victims. It also included representatives of West Germany, the United States and England present.

Sinds 2007 There is a memorial plaque at the site of the disaster. At the unveiling were also present some firefighters, die in 1981 helped in the disaster.


The free people : democratic-socialist newspaper“. Rotterdam, 07-10-1981, p. 1.

TVNZ“. Rotterdam, 07-10-1981, p. 1

Dead Akkers -The accident PH-CHI at Moerdijk

Wikipedia – NLM Cityhopper flight 431

The Telegraph“. Amsterdam, 07-10-1981, p. 1

Text: Dave Datema

published: 01 oktober 2017

story number: 22

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.