Libyan Arab Airlines Flight 1103
|Date||22 December 1992|
|Summary||Mid-air collision (disputed)|
5A-DIA, the Boeing 727 which crashed
|Type||Boeing 727-2L5[note 1]|
|Operator||Libyan Arab Airlines|
|Flight origin||Benina International Airport|
|Destination||Tripoli International Airport|
|Operator||Libyan Air Force|
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.
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. 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".
- 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.
- "ASN Aircraft accident Boeing 727-2L5 5A-DIA Tripoli International Airport (TIP)". Aviation Safety Network. Retrieved 24 April 2010.
- "Boeing 727 Crashes in Libya". Flight International, 6–12 January 1993. p. 8.
- Campbell, Glenn (4 January 2013). "Calls to re-open Libya plane 'crash' investigation". BBC News.
- Olgiati, Christopher (2 February 2014). "Libya: Muammar Gaddafi's secrets finally revealed". BBC News. Retrieved 2 February 2014.