Complacency / Uncontrollable Fire


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

Time is UTC; Cairo is UTC + 2


Pk 705 departed Karachi at 1800 on May 19 for Dhahran, and from there onwards to Cairo at 2122. Approaching Cairo at 2340, the aircraft was cleared for a left-hand visual 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 was the pilot in command.

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 during alignment with the runway. It was observed that the captain had never flown an approach to Cairo in a B 720 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 for an 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 with any level of experience. 125 on board / 119 fatalities.




Pk 740, 26 November 1979, AP-AWZ, B707-340C

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 in the late evening, 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 with its intensity and rapid spread eventually incapacitated the flight crew. The cause of the cabin fire was not determined but is suspected to be an oil stove carried by one of the pilgrims.

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

4 thoughts on “Complacency / Uncontrollable Fire

  1. Asaulkum capt S m Hussain
    PIA place of birth was India as you know the history orient airways etc .
    Now about jet airways our neibouring
    Country airline .
    Question ??? What do you think about
    Jet airways will it survive or downsize
    It’s fleet ie sell of rest of there 777 and just operate 737 .
    Jet and PIA are very similar airlines in cargo loading trim if your in a cargo hold of a jet 777 its feels your loading offloading a PIA 777 both similar

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