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Last updated: 12 December 2019
Status:
Date:Monday 22 July 1974
Time:ca 02:00
Type:Silhouette image of generic NORA model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Nord 2501D Noratlas
Operator:Elleniki Polemikí Aeroporía
Registration: 52-133
C/n / msn: D035
First flight:
Engines: 2 Bristol Hercules 739
Crew:Fatalities: 4 / Occupants: 4
Passengers:Fatalities: 27 / Occupants: 28
Total:Fatalities: 31 / Occupants: 32
Aircraft damage: Destroyed
Aircraft fate: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Location:3 km (1.9 mls) from Nicosia Airport (NIC) (   Cyprus)
Phase: Approach (APR)
Nature:Military
Departure airport:Chania-Soúda Airport (CHQ/LGSA), Greece
Destination airport:Nicosia Airport (NIC/LCNC), Cyprus
Narrative:
Turkey invaded Cyprus on 20 July 1974, after the Cypriot Government had been overthrown by sections of the Cypriot National Guard, led by its Greek officers five days earlier. On the evening of July 21, 1974 the Hellenic Air Force commenced a clandestine air-lift operation (Operation "Niki") using twenty Noratlas and ten C-47 Dakota aircraft in an effort to transport a battalion of commandos from Crete to Cyprus. However, the aircraft were erroneously engaged by Greek Cypriot anti-aircraft guns at Nicosia International Airport.
The first three aircraft managed to land. The aircraft with callsign "Niki 4" got hit by heavy AA fire, caught fire and crashed two miles before the runway.

Sources:
» Operation "Niki" 1974 - a suicide mission to Cyprus / by Mihail Solanakis
» Military operations during the Turkish invasion of Cyprus (Wikipedia)


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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 Chania-Soúda Airport to Nicosia Airport as the crow flies is 823 km (514 miles).
Accident location: Global; accuracy within tens or hundreds of kilometers.

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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Noratlas

  • 359 built
  • 46th loss
  • 32nd fatal accident
  • 2nd worst accident (at the time)
  • 4th worst accident (currently)
» safety profile

 Cyprus
  • 3rd worst accident
» safety profile