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Accident description
Last updated: 18 October 2017
Status:
Date:Saturday 2 January 1971
Type:Silhouette image of generic COMT model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
de Havilland DH-106 Comet 4C
Operator:United Arab Airlines - UAA
Registration: SU-ALC
C/n / msn: 6439
First flight: 1960
Total airframe hrs:25592
Crew:Fatalities: 8 / Occupants: 8
Passengers:Fatalities: 8 / Occupants: 8
Total:Fatalities: 16 / Occupants: 16
Airplane damage: Damaged beyond repair
Location:7 km (4.4 mls) N of Tripoli International Airport (TIP) (   Libya)
Phase: Approach (APR)
Nature:International Scheduled Passenger
Departure airport:Algiers-Dar el Beida Airport (ALG/DAAG), Algeria
Destination airport:Tripoli International Airport (TIP/HLLT), Libya
Flightnumber: 844
Narrative:
The Comet, on a flight from Algiers, struck sand dunes at 395 feet while making an ADF approach procedure turn for runway 18.

Probable Cause:

PROBABLE CAUSE: The probable cause of the accident was the decision of the pilot-in-command to land while the prevailing visibility was below the Airline's minimum for that airport at night, and for undetermined reasons, the aircraft was lower than the altitude it ought to have been for an ADF approach to the runway in use.
The weather was a contributing factor.

Sources:
» ICAO Accident Digest Circular 118-AN/88 (131-138)


Photos

photo of de Havilland DH-106 Comet 4C SU-ALC
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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 Algiers-Dar el Beida Airport to Tripoli International Airport as the crow flies is 1006 km (629 miles).
Accident location: Approximate; accuracy within a few 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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DH-106 Comet

  • 112 built
  • 25th loss
  • 13th fatal accident
  • 11th worst accident
» safety profile

 Libya
  • 4th worst accident (at the time)
  • 9th worst accident (currently)
» safety profile