Unlawful Interference de Havilland DH-106 Comet 4 G-ARCO, Thursday 12 October 1967
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Date:Thursday 12 October 1967
Time:03:25
Type:Silhouette image of generic COMT model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different    
de Havilland DH-106 Comet 4
Owner/operator:British European Airways - BEA, opf Cyprus Airways
Registration: G-ARCO
MSN: 6449
Year of manufacture:1961
Total airframe hrs:15470 hours
Engine model:Rolls-Royce Avon 524
Fatalities:Fatalities: 66 / Occupants: 66
Other fatalities:0
Aircraft damage: Destroyed, written off
Category:Unlawful Interference
Location:35 km S off Demre, Turkey -   Mediterranean Sea
Phase: En route
Nature:Passenger - Scheduled
Departure airport:Athens-Ellinikon International Airport (ATH/LGAT)
Destination airport:Nicosia Airport (NIC/LCNC)
Investigating agency: AIB
Confidence Rating: Accident investigation report completed and information captured
Narrative:
British European Airways flight 284 departed London-Heathrow Airport at 21:45 hours on 11 October 1967, bound for Athens, Greece and Nicosia, Cyprus.
The DH-106 Comet arrived at Athens at 01:11 hours on October 12. Six passengers disembarked and 27 passengers joined the flight. It was refuelled and serviced for the flight to Nicosia.
The aircraft taxied out at 02:27 hours and was airborne on schedule at 02:31; it was cleared by Athens Control to Nicosia on Upper Airway Red 19 to cruise at FL290. After takeoff it climbed to 4000 ft on the 180 radial of Athens VOR and then turned direct to Sounion, which it reported crossing at 02:36 hours.
At 02:46 hours, the aircraft reported that it was crossing R19B at FL290 and was estimating Rhodes at 03:03. At 03:16 hours the crew reported passing R19C at FL290 and estimated passing abeam of Myrtou, Cyprus, at 03:40 hours. This message was not received by Athens direct but was relayed by a westbound Comet aircraft. Flight 284 was then cleared by Athens to change to the Nicosia FIR frequency. Immediately after contacting Nicosia, contact was lost.
At that moment a high explosive device detonated within the cabin under seat 4A or 5A. The explosion severely damaged the aircraft causing an out-of-control condition followed by structural break-up at FL150. The wreckage fell into the sea.

PROBABLE CAUSE: "The aircraft broke up in the air following detonation of a high explosive device within the cabin."

Accident investigation:
cover
  
Investigating agency: AIB
Report number: CAP305
Status: Investigation completed
Duration: 5 months
Download report: Final report

Sources:

ICAO Digest 17 (Circular 88) - Volume II
Air crash : the clue is in the wreckage / Fred Jones

Statistics

  • 12th worst accident in 1967
  • 2nd worst accident of this aircraft type
  • worst accident of this aircraft type at the time

Location

Revision history:

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