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Accident description
Last updated: 2 July 2015
Date:Tuesday 14 March 1972
Type:Silhouette image of generic S210 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Sud Aviation SE-210 Caravelle 10B3
Operator:Sterling Airways
Registration: OY-STL
C/n / msn: 267
First flight: 1970
Crew:Fatalities: 6 / Occupants: 6
Passengers:Fatalities: 106 / Occupants: 106
Total:Fatalities: 112 / Occupants: 112
Airplane damage: Destroyed
Airplane fate: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Location:ca 20 km W of Kalba (   United Arab Emirates)
Crash site elevation: 488 m (1601 feet) amsl
Phase: En route (ENR)
Nature:Int'l Non Scheduled Passenger
Departure airport:Colombo-Bandaranaike International Airport (CMB/VCBI), Sri Lanka
Destination airport:Dubai Airport (DXB/OMDB), United Arab Emirates
Flightnumber: 296
Sterling Flight 296 was a charter service from Colombo (CMB) to Copenhagen (CPH), Denmark. A refueling stop was planned at Dubai (DXB). The Caravelle jet was cleared for a straight-in VOR approach to runway 30. The crew descended out of FL135 until the plane struck a mountain ridge at 1600 feet.

PROBABLE CAUSE: Descended below minimum prescribed altitude, probably because the pilots thought they were closer to Dubai than they actually were, due to incorrect information on the outdated flight plan and/or due to a misreading of the weather radar.


Controlled Flight Into Terrain (CFIT) - Mountain



photo of Sud Aviation SE-210 Caravelle 10B3 OY-STL
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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 Colombo-Bandaranaike International Airport to Dubai Airport as the crow flies is 3270 km (2044 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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