ASN Aircraft accident de Havilland DH-106 Comet 4 G-ARCO Demre, Turkey
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Status:Accident investigation report completed and information captured
Date:Thursday 12 October 1967
Time:03:25 UTC
Type:Silhouette image of generic COMT model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
de Havilland DH-106 Comet 4
Operator:British European Airways - BEA
On behalf of:Cyprus Airways
Registration: G-ARCO
MSN: 6449
First flight: 1961-04-05 (6 years 6 months)
Total airframe hrs:15470
Engines: 4 Rolls-Royce Avon 524
Crew:Fatalities: 7 / Occupants: 7
Passengers:Fatalities: 59 / Occupants: 59
Total:Fatalities: 66 / Occupants: 66
Aircraft damage: Destroyed
Aircraft fate: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Location:35 km (21.9 mls) S off Demre, Turkey (   Mediterranean Sea)
Phase: En route (ENR)
Nature:International Scheduled Passenger
Departure airport:Athens-Ellinikon International Airport (ATH/LGAT), Greece
Destination airport:Nicosia Airport (NIC/LCNC), Cyprus
British European Airways flight 284 departed London-Heathrow Airport at 21:45 hours on 11 October 1967, bound for Athens, Greece and Nicosia, Cyprus.
The DH-106 Comet arrived at Athens at 01:11 hours on October 12. Six passengers disembarked and 27 passengers joined the flight. It was refuelled and serviced for the flight to Nicosia.
The aircraft taxied out at 02:27 hours and was airborne on schedule at 02:31; it was cleared by Athens Control to Nicosia on Upper Airway Red 19 to cruise at FL290. After takeoff it climbed to 4000 ft on the 180 radial of Athens VOR and then turned direct to Sounion, which it reported crossing at 02:36 hours.
At 02:46 hours, the aircraft reported that it was crossing R19B at FL290 and was estimating Rhodes at 03:03. At 03:16 hours the crew reported passing R19C at FL290 and estimated passing abeam of Myrtou, Cyprus, at 03:40 hours. This message was not received by Athens direct but was relayed by a westbound Comet aircraft. Flight 284 was then cleared by Athens to change to the Nicosia FIR frequency. Immediately after contacting Nicosia, contact was lost.
At that moment a high explosive device detonated within the cabin under seat 4A or 5A. The explosion severely damaged the aircraft causing an out-of-control condition followed by structural break-up at FL150. The wreckage fell into the sea.

Probable Cause:

PROBABLE CAUSE: "The aircraft broke up in the air following detonation of a high explosive device within the cabin."

Accident investigation:

Investigating agency: AIB (U.K.)
Status: Investigation completed
Duration: 172 days (6 months)
Accident number: CAP305
Download report: Final report

Loss of control

» ICAO Digest 17 (Circular 88) - Volume II
» Air crash : the clue is in the wreckage / Fred Jones


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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 Athens-Ellinikon International Airport to Nicosia Airport as the crow flies is 900 km (562 miles).
Accident location: Exact; as reported in the official accident report.

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
  • 17th loss
  • 11th fatal accident
  • The worst accident (at the time)
  • 2nd worst accident (currently)
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 Mediterranean Sea
  • The worst accident (at the time)
  • 4th worst accident (currently)
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