Libyan Arab Airlines Flight 1103

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Libyan Arab Airlines Flight 1103
Accident summary
Date 22 December 1992
Summary Mid-air collision (disputed)
Site Tripoli, Libya
Total fatalities 157
Total survivors 2
First aircraft

5A-DIA, the Boeing 727 which crashed
Type Boeing 727-2L5[note 1]
Operator Libyan Arab Airlines
Registration 5A-DIA
Flight origin Benina International Airport
Destination Tripoli International Airport
Passengers 147
Crew 10
Fatalities 157
Survivors 0
Second aircraft
Type Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-23
Operator Libyan Air Force
Registration Unknown
Crew 2
Fatalities 0
Survivors 2

Libyan Arab Airlines Flight 1103 was a Boeing 727 with 10 crew and 147 passengers on board that disintegrated on 22 December 1992. On the day of the accident Flight 1103 took off from Benina International Airport near Benghazi on a domestic flight to Tripoli International Airport. At an altitude of 3,500 ft (1,067 m) during the aircraft's approach to Tripoli airport, something happened resulting in the aircraft disintegrating, and the death of all 157 passengers and crew. The official explanation blamed a collision with a Libyan Air Force MiG-23; the pilot and instructor of the MiG were imprisoned.

As of 2013, this accident remains the third-deadliest one involving a Boeing 727, behind All Nippon Airways Flight 58 and Mexicana Flight 940. It is also the deadliest accident to occur in Libya.

Twenty years later, after the fall of Muammar Gaddafi, Abdel Majid Tayari, the instructor in the MiG aircraft, challenged the official version of events, claiming that Flight 1103 was deliberately destroyed, because he saw the "detached tail" falling before his aircraft was knocked out for some unknown reason and forced to eject along with his trainee.[1] Ali Aujali, who served as a Libyan diplomat both under Gaddafi and under the National Transitional Council, claims that Gaddafi ordered the flight to be shot down to demonstrate the negative effects of international sanctions imposed on Libya after the bombing of Pan Am Flight 103. According to Aujali, the dictator originally placed a bomb with a timer in the plane, but when this failed to explode, he "ordered the plane to be knocked out of the sky".[2]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ The aircraft was a Boeing 727-200 model; Boeing assigns a unique code for each company that buys one of its aircraft, which is applied as a suffix to the model number at the time the aircraft is built, hence "727-2L5" for a Boeing 727 built for Libyan Arab Airlines.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Campbell, Glenn (4 January 2013). "Calls to re-open Libya plane 'crash' investigation". BBC News. 
  2. ^ Olgiati, Christopher (2 February 2014). "Libya: Muammar Gaddafi's secrets finally revealed". BBC News. Retrieved 2 February 2014.