United Arab Airlines Flight 749

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United Arab Airlines Flight 749
United Arab Airlines Antonov An-24 Hanuise.jpg
An United Arab Airlines Antonov An-24 at Cairo, Flight 749's intended destination.
Accident summary
Date 18 March 1966
Summary Pilot error, poor weather
Site near Cairo, Egypt
Passengers 25
Crew 5
Injuries (non-fatal) 0
Fatalities 30
Survivors 0
Aircraft type Antonov An-24
Operator United Arab Airlines
Registration SU-AOA
Flight origin Nicosia Airport, Nicosia, Cyprus
Destination Cairo International Airport, Cairo, Egypt

United Arab Airlines Flight 749 was a scheduled international passenger flight on 13 March 1966 that crashed while attempting to land in Cairo, Egypt. All thirty passengers and crew on board were killed.


Flight 749 took off from Nicosia Airport bound for Cairo International Airport. En route, the aircraft encountered bad weather and conditions were poor in Cairo due to the presence of sandstorms. The crew of Flight 749 contacted Mirsair's Operations about diversion options. The flight crew also reported they were flying through thunderstorms with icing conditions, that two of the aircraft's altimeters were giving different readings, the magnetic compass being unserviceable, and that there was a crack in a cockpit window panel due to the thunderstorms. After diverting was discussed, Flight 749 continued to Cairo. The flight was cleared for a Runway 23 approach but crashed approximately 5 kilometres from it. Everyone on board Flight 749 perished in the accident.

After the crash, the sandstorm hampered rescue operations. Visibility was near zero and rescue vehicles became bogged down in the drifting sands.[1][2]

Among those killed in the crash was Yemen's Agriculture Minister, Ali Mohammad Abdou.[3]


Accident investigators determined that "the accident arose from the descent of the aircraft below the safe flight altitude in the final approach and the impact of the port wing against the sand dunes lying to the northeast of the aerodrome. As a result the pilot lost control of his aircraft and hit the ground.

It is probable that the cause of descent of the aircraft below the safe level was due to the change from IFR to VFR, taking into consideration that considerable time would have been needed for the pilot to have adapted to this change in the prevailing weather conditions."[4]

See also


  1. Plane crashes in sandstorm; 30 fear perish
  2. Fear 30 flying to Cairo die in sandstorm
  3. Crash kills Minister, 29 others
  4. Aircraft accident Antonov 24B SU-AOA Cairo

External links