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Accident
Last updated: 22 September 2017
Status:Final
Date:Thursday 20 April 1967
Time:01:13
Type:Bristol 175 Britannia 313
Operator:Globe Air
Registration: HB-ITB
C/n / msn: 13232
First flight: 1957
Total airframe hrs:20632
Cycles:6780
Crew:Fatalities: 9 / Occupants: 10
Passengers:Fatalities: 117 / Occupants: 120
Total:Fatalities: 126 / Occupants: 130
Airplane damage: Destroyed
Airplane fate: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Location:3,5 km (2.2 mls) S of Nicosia Airport (NIC) (   Cyprus)
Phase: Approach (APR)
Nature:Int'l Non Scheduled Passenger
Departure airport:Bombay-Santacruz Airport (BOM/VABB), India
Destination airport:Cairo International Airport (CAI/HECA), Egypt
Narrative:
A Bristol 175 Britannia passenger plane was destroyed when it impacted the ground near Nicosia Airport in Cyprus. Of the 130 occupants just four survived.
The aircraft, HB-ITB, was operated by Globe Air on a flight from Bangkok, Thailand to Basel, Switzerland with intermediate stops at Colombo, Sri Lanka; Bombay, India and Cairo, Egypt.
Takeoff from Bombay was accomplished on 19 April at 13:12 hours GMT, with 11 hours and 10 minutes of fuel endurance and an estimated flight time for Cairo of 9 hours. According to the flight plan time, it was due to arrive in Cairo at 22:12 hours. The alternate airport for this sector was given as Beirut, Lebanon.
At 22:15 hours the aircraft was heard calling Nicosia but, due to distance and height, two-way communication with Nicosia on VHF could not be established until 22:34 hours.
In the meantime a message was received from Beirut advising Nicosia that the aircraft had entered the Nicosia FIR and had reported over position Red 18A at 22:29 hours.
The aircraft came over the field at 23:06 hours and was cleared for a right-hand circuit. At 23:10 hours, when over the threshold of runway 32, the aircraft was slightly high and the captain decided to overshoot. He informed the tower and was cleared for a left-hand circuit. He further informed the tower that he would carry out a low circuit.
The aircraft was momentarily seen by the controller during its final approach and the glare of its landing lights was visible through the low cloud when it made a pass over the runway in use and disappeared from view over the upwind end of the runway in the low cloud to the north-west.
On his second attempt to land and while executing a low circuit, the aircraft collided with the ground 6.7 meters (22 feet ) below the top of a hillock 256.6 m (842 ft) above Mean Sea Level, in level flight.
The outer section of the port wing remained at the point of impact and the aircraft rolled over with parts of the port wing disintegrating before it struck another hillock, and disintegrated. A post-impacted fire broke out.
The reason why the captain chose to land at Nicosia instead of Beirut which was on his flight plan and where the weather conditions were much better than Nicosia could not be determined by the investigators.
It was noted that the flight time limitations for two pilots for turbo-prop aircraft had been exceeded by 2 hours and 47 minutes at the time of the accident.
Furthermore this excess would be augmented to 4 hours and 17 minutes, taking into consideration the fact that the company considered the 1,5 hour preceding the scheduled take-off time on duty for flight time limitation purposes.

Probable Cause:

PROBABLE CAUSE: "The accident resulted from an attempt to make an approach at a height too low to clear rising ground."

Classification:
Insufficient rest / fatigue
Controlled Flight Into Terrain (CFIT) - Mountain

Sources:
» ICAO Circular 88-AN/74 Volume II (151-155)


Photos

photo of Bristol 175 Britannia 313 HB-ITB
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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 Bombay-Santacruz Airport to Cairo International Airport as the crow flies is 4316 km (2698 miles).
Accident location: Exact; as reported in the official accident report.

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