ASN Aircraft accident Boeing 727-21 HZ-TFA Riyadh
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Status:Accident investigation report completed and information captured
Date:Wednesday 22 January 1986
Type:Silhouette image of generic B721 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Boeing 727-21
Operator:H.H. Prince Faisal Bandar Atturki
Registration: HZ-TFA
MSN: 19006/262
First flight: 1966-04-27 (19 years 9 months)
Total airframe hrs:33000
Engines: 3 Pratt & Whitney JT8D-7B
Crew:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 6
Passengers:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 15
Total:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 21
Aircraft damage: Minor
Aircraft fate: Repaired
Location:near Riyadh (   Saudi Arabia)
Phase: En route (ENR)
Departure airport:Riyadh-King Khalid International Airport (RUH/OERK), Saudi Arabia
Destination airport:Jeddah-King Abdulaziz International Airport (JED/OEJN), Saudi Arabia
Boeing 727 HZ-TFA departed Riyadh at 18:55. Some 17 minutes after takeoff, at FL350, the captain noticed the smell of burning plastic. Thick black smoke was discovered in the master lavatory. While the flight engineer tried to extinguish the fire, an emergency descent was initiated and the aircraft returned to Riyadh. The aircraft landed safely on runway 33L.

Probable Cause:

PROBABLE CAUSE: "A defect in the electronic timer switch allowing continuous operation of the flush motor; the flush motor overheated and the temperature rise was sufficient to ignite combustible electrical components."

Inflight fire
Forced landing on runway

» ICAO Circular 245-AN/147 (1-10)


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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 Riyadh-King Khalid International Airport to Jeddah-King Abdulaziz International Airport as the crow flies is 847 km (529 miles).

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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