Criminal Occurrence
Last updated: 31 July 2014
Status:Final
Date:Thursday 12 October 1967
Time:ca. 03:25
Type:de Havilland DH-106 Comet 4
Operator:British European Airways - BEA
Registration: G-ARCO
C/n / msn: 6449
First flight: 1961
Total airframe hrs:15470
Engines: 4 Rolls-Royce Avon 524
Crew:Fatalities: 7 / Occupants: 7
Passengers:Fatalities: 59 / Occupants: 59
Total:Fatalities: 66 / Occupants: 66
Airplane damage: Destroyed
Airplane fate: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Location:35 km (21.9 mls) S off Demre, Turkey (   Mediterranean Sea) show on map
Phase: En route (ENR)
Nature:International Scheduled Passenger
Departure airport:Athens-Ellinikon International Airport (ATH/LGAT), Greece
Destination airport:Nicosia Airport (NIC/LCNC), Cyprus
Flightnumber: 284
Narrative:
Comet 4 G-ARCO left London-Heathrow Airport (LHR) at 21:45 hours on 11 October 1967, operating British European Airways (BEA) flight BE 284 to Athens (ATH). It carried 38 passengers and 2154 kg of freight, including 920 kg for Nicosia (NIC). The aircraft arrived at Athens at 01:11 hours on 12 October. Six passengers disembarked and 27 passengers joined the flight, now changed to Cyprus Airways flight CY284 to Nicosia. 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 FL 290 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. G-ARCO 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."

Classification:
Sabotage
Loss of control

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


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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 Athens-Ellinikon International Airport to Nicosia Airport as the crow flies is 900 km (562 miles).

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DH-106 Comet

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