Accident description
Last updated: 19 April 2014
Status:Final
Date:Monday 8 October 1979
Time:22:15
Type:McDonnell Douglas DC-8-62
Operator:Swissair
Registration: HB-IDE
C/n / msn: 45919/312
First flight: 1967
Engines: 4 Pratt & Whitney JT3D-
Crew:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 12
Passengers:Fatalities: 14 / Occupants: 142
Total:Fatalities: 14 / Occupants: 154
Airplane damage: Damaged beyond repair
Location:Athens-Ellinikon International Airport (ATH) (   Greece) show on map
Phase: Landing (LDG)
Nature:International Scheduled Passenger
Departure airport:Genève-Cointrin Airport (GVA/LSGG), Switzerland
Destination airport:Athens-Ellinikon International Airport (ATH/LGAT), Greece
Narrative:
The aircraft touched down 740m past the displaced threshold of runway 15L (2240m before the end), following an ILS approach. The DC-8 touched down at a speed of 146 knots, decelerated but overran the end of the runway. The left wing and tail separated before the aircraft came to rest on a public road some 80m beyond the end of the runway and 4m below airport elevation. A fire broke out on the right side and spread quickly. All 14 victims died due to smoke or fire and were all seated at rows 21-26.
The DC-8 was called "Uri".


PROBABLE CAUSE: "(1) The crew touched down the aircraft too late, at a speed higher than normal after a non-stabilized final approach. (2) The crew did not fully apply the braking systems (wheel brakes and reverse thrust) particularly the wheel brakes after a touchdown under known adverse conditions, so that it was not possible to stop the aircraft at least before the end of the overrun area."
Note: the member of the Operations team of the Accident Investigation Committee had a different opinion from the rest of the Committee regarding the cause of the accident. That is:
"After a non-stabilized approach a too-late touchdown at an increased speed was not realized by the crew. Contributing was the fact that (1) the company's recommended technique concerning 'landing when braking action is less then good' was not followed by the crew. (2) Wheel brake application was not fully utilized by the crew at the proper stage of rolling after touchdown. (3) Reverse thrust application was not fully utilized by the crew at the proper stage of rolling after touchdown. "

Events:

Sources:


Photos

photo of McDonnell Douglas DC-8-62 HB-IDE
photo of McDonnell Douglas DC-8-62 HB-IDE
Add your photo of this accident or aircraft
 

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 Genève-Cointrin Airport to Athens-Ellinikon International Airport as the crow flies is 1707 km (1067 miles).

languages: English Français Nederlands Deutsch Espanol

Share
Share

DC-8

  • 50th loss
  • 556 built
  • 21st worst accident (at the time)
  • 27th worst accident (currently)
safety profile

 Greece
  • 10th worst accident (at the time)
  • 14th worst accident (currently)
»safety profile