Narrative:The aircraft departed Surabaya at 12:03 UTC for a hadj flight to Jeddah with a planned intermediate stop at Colombo. Around 16:30 UTC Colombo Control cleared the flight down from FL350 to FL150. At 16:38, when the flight was 50 nm from Colombo the air traffic controller cleared the flight further down to 5000 feet and to report reaching 8000 feet. At 16:44 Colombo Approach Control then cleared the flight down to 2000 feet and told them to expect a runway 04 approach. The crew were then to report overhead the KAT NDB or when the airfield was in sight. The crew continued their descent until the airplane crashed into the Anjimalai Mountain at an altitude of 4355 feet, about 40 nm East of Colombo.
|Date:||04 DEC 1974|
|C/n / msn:|| 45818/242|
|First flight:|| 1966|
|Total airframe hrs:||35613|
|Engines:|| 4 Pratt & Whitney JT3D-3B|
|Crew:||Fatalities: 9 / Occupants: 9|
|Passengers:||Fatalities: 182 / Occupants: 182|
|Total:||Fatalities: 191 / Occupants: 191 |
|Airplane damage:|| Destroyed|
|Airplane fate:|| Written off (damaged beyond repair)|
|Location:||Maskeliya (Sri Lanka)
|Phase:|| En route (ENR)|
|Nature:||Int'l Non Scheduled Passenger|
|Departure airport:||Surabaya-Juanda Airport (SUB/WARR), Indonesia|
|Destination airport:||Colombo-Bandaranaike International Airport (CMB/VCBI), Sri Lanka|
was cleared to 2000 feet after reporting between 7000-6000 feet when 14 miles out. The aircraft later crashed into a mountain.
PROBABLE CAUSE: "Collision with rising terrain as the crew descended the aircraft below safe altitude owing to incorrect identification of their position vis-a-vis the airport. The investigation is of the opinion that this was the result of dependence on Doppler and Weather Radar Systems on board PH-MBH which left room for misinterpretation."
» ICAO Circular 132-AN/93 (213-245)
Official accident investigation report
Sample newspaper article from Newspaperarchive.com
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 Surabaya-Juanda Airport to Colombo-Bandaranaike International Airport as the crow flies is 3976 km (2485 miles).