Accident de Havilland DH-106 Comet 4C SU-ALD, Sunday 28 July 1963
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Date:Sunday 28 July 1963
Time:01:50
Type:Silhouette image of generic COMT model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different    
de Havilland DH-106 Comet 4C
Owner/operator:United Arab Airlines - UAA
Registration: SU-ALD
MSN: 6441
Year of manufacture:1960
Fatalities:Fatalities: 63 / Occupants: 63
Other fatalities:0
Aircraft damage: Destroyed, written off
Category:Accident
Location:10 km WNW off Bombay Airport (BOM) -   India
Phase: Approach
Nature:Passenger - Scheduled
Departure airport:Bangkok-Don Muang International Airport (BKK/VTBD)
Destination airport:Bombay-Santacruz Airport (BOM/VABB)
Narrative:
United Arab Airlines Flight 869 was a scheduled passenger service from Tokyo to Cairo via Hong Kong, Bangkok, Mumbai (Bombay) and Bahrain. At 01:46 hours local time, on the leg to Bombay, the crew reported over the Santa Cruz VOR at 7000 feet. It was cleared to descend to 4000 feet over the VOR and was requested to report what type of approach would be carried out for landing on runway 09. The crew reported they would follow the ILS back beam procedure. Santa Cruz approach advised them however that the back beam of the ILS was not flyable but that it could home in on the 270 degree radial of the VOR. The crew agreed to do a VOR letdown for runway 09 and shortly thereafter reported leaving 7000 feet outbound over the sea on the 272 degree radial of the VOR. Santa Cruz radar advised the flight that if they would fly more than 6 or 7 miles west of the field, they would encounter very heavy turbulence. The flight then requested permission for a left-hand procedure turn instead of the normal right-hand turn, which was granted. During the turn in severe turbulence, at 6 miles WNW of the field, the plane lost control and crashed into the sea, 9nm of Madh Island.

PROBABLE CAUSE: "The committee was faced with difficulties during the course of the investigation due to the fact that neither the exact location of the wreckage could be fixed no the wreckage salvaged. Moreover, the accident occurred suddenly with no airborne emergency reported and late at night over the sea in limited visibility. There were no eyewitnesses. However, in the presence of the facts available, it can be concluded that the accident was probably due to loss of control while turning in severe turbulence and heavy rain."

Sources:

The Indian Express - Jul 29, 1963

Statistics

  • 7th worst accident in 1963
  • 3rd worst accident of this aircraft type
  • worst accident of this aircraft type at the time

Location

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