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Accident description
Last updated: 24 October 2017
Status:
Date:Thursday 29 September 1960
Time:11:15 UTC
Type:Silhouette image of generic VISC model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Vickers 739B Viscount
Operator:United Arab Airlines - UAA
Registration: SU-AKW
C/n / msn: 427
First flight: 1960
Crew:Fatalities: 4 / Occupants: 4
Passengers:Fatalities: 17 / Occupants: 17
Total:Fatalities: 21 / Occupants: 21
Airplane damage: Destroyed
Airplane fate: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Location:27,5 km (17.2 mls) N off Elba, Italy [Tyrrhenian Sea] (   Mediterranean Sea)
Phase: En route (ENR)
Nature:International Scheduled Passenger
Departure airport:Genève-Cointrin Airport (GVA/LSGG), Switzerland
Destination airport:Roma-Fiumicino Airport (FCO/LIRF), Italy
Flightnumber: 738
Narrative:
United Arab flight 738 took off from Geneva at 10:05 GMT for a flight to Cairo via Rome and Athens. The flight was to follow Airway A3. At FL210, near Elba, the crew requested a change of heading to avoid some unfavourable weather. Last contact was when Rome ATC cleared the aircraft for this change of heading. The aircraft crashed into the Tyrrhenian Sea off Elba; little wreckage was found.

Probable Cause:

PROBABLE CAUSE: "The entry if the aircraft into a severe thunderstorm which resulted in loss of control or one of its main parts had sheared off or was completely damaged."

Classification:
Thunderstorm
Loss of control

Photos

photo of Vickers 739B Viscount SU-AKW
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Map
This map shows the airport of departure and the intended destination of the flight. The line between the airports does not display the exact flight path.
Distance from Genève-Cointrin Airport to Roma-Fiumicino Airport as the crow flies is 691 km (432 miles).
Accident location: Global; accuracy within tens or hundreds of kilometers.

This information is not presented as the Flight Safety Foundation or the Aviation Safety Network’s opinion as to the cause of the accident. It is preliminary and is based on the facts as they are known at this time.
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Vickers Viscount

  • 445 built
  • 32nd loss
  • 19th fatal accident
  • 9th worst accident (at the time)
  • 35th worst accident (currently)
» safety profile

 Mediterranean Sea
  • 2nd worst accident (at the time)
  • 9th worst accident (currently)
» safety profile