Accident description
Last updated: 21 April 2014
Status:
Date:Saturday 27 July 1963
Time:20:20 UTC
Type:de Havilland DH-106 Comet 4C
Operator:United Arab Airlines - UAA
Registration: SU-ALD
C/n / msn: 6441
First flight: 1960
Crew:Fatalities: 8 / Occupants: 8
Passengers:Fatalities: 55 / Occupants: 55
Total:Fatalities: 63 / Occupants: 63
Airplane damage: Damaged beyond repair
Location:10 km (6.3 mls) WNW off Bombay Airport (BOM) (   India) show on map
Phase: Approach (APR)
Nature:International Scheduled Passenger
Departure airport:Bangkok-Don Muang International Airport (BKK/VTBD), Thailand
Destination airport:Bombay-Santacruz Airport (BOM/VABB), India
Flightnumber: 869
Narrative:
Flight 869 was a scheduled flight from Tokyo to Cairo via Hong Kong, Bangkok, Mumbai (Bombay) and Bahrain. At 20:16 GMT, on the leg Bangkok-Mumbai (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."

Events:


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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 Bangkok-Don Muang International Airport to Bombay-Santacruz Airport as the crow flies is 2993 km (1870 miles).

This information is not presented as the Flight Safety Foundation or the Aviation Safety Networkĺs 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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DH-106 Comet

  • 15th loss
  • 112 built
  • worst accident (at the time)
  • 3rd worst accident (currently)
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 India
  • 2nd worst accident (at the time)
  • 12th worst accident (currently)
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