Complacency / Uncontrollable Fire

COMPLACENCY: Pk 705, 19/5/1965; AP-AMH, B720-047B

Times are UTC

AP-AMH

Pk 705 departed Karachi at 1800 on May 19 for Dhahran, and from there to Cairo at 2122. Approaching Cairo at 2340, the aircraft was cleared for a left-hand circuit to Runway 34. The crew reported turning final at 2345 but the aircraft kept descending and struck the ground well short of the runway at 2348. Captain A. A. Khan

This is my input of the probable cause: the aircraft was carrying out a night visual approach via a circuit flown to the runway. It collided with the terrain while turning final and while aligning  with the runway. The captain had never flown an approach to Cairo in a B720 aircraft. He had sat in the cockpit of a foreign carrier to meet the requirement of experience to this city on another trip. It was night and the approach was over an unlit area, the source of optical illusion. I believe, the captain lost speed in the turn and stalled the aircraft while steepening the bank in order to line up with the runway on final approach. This is a common mistake and can happen at any level of experience. 125 on board / 119 fatalities.

CRASH SCENE AP-AMH

UNCONTROLLABLE FIRE: Pk 740(AP-AWZ), B707-340C

 

AP-AWZ

 

Pakistan International Airlines Pk 740 of 26 November 1979, was a Hajj Pilgrimage Flight from Jeddah to Karachi. The aircraft, AP-AWZ had earlier operated with a different set of crew that day as Saudia Flight SV152/153 on sector Jeddah-Kano-Jeddah.

On departure from Jeddah for Karachi as Flight Pk 740, the aircraft crashed shortly after takeoff. All 156 people on board were killed. The first warning of an emergency came 21 minutes after takeoff, when the pilot radioed a request to return to Jeddah because of smoke coming into the cabin and cockpit. 15 minutes later, Jeddah control tower heard the pilot shout “Mayday! Mayday!” before the radio went silent. An in-flight fire in the cabin area, through its intensity and rapid extension, eventually incapacitated the flight crew. The cause of the cabin fire was not determined.

The accident remains, to date, the third-deadliest crash on Saudi Arabian soil and the third-deadliest crash involving a Boeing 707.

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