Air Rhodesia Flight 827
An Air Rhodesia Vickers Viscount, similar to the aircraft involved in the incident
|Date||12 February 1979|
|Summary||Civilian airliner shoot-down during wartime|
Vuti African Purchase Area|
|Aircraft type||Vickers Viscount|
Air Rhodesia Flight 827, the Umniati, was a scheduled flight between Kariba and Salisbury that was shot down on 12 February 1979 by Zimbabwe People's Revolutionary Army (ZIPRA) guerrillas using a Strela 2 missile soon after take-off. The circumstances were very similar to that of Air Rhodesia Flight 825 five months earlier. To date, it remains the deadliest aviation incident in Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe).
The flight's departure from Kariba had been delayed, so it had not climbed over the lake to get above the ceiling of shoulder-launched anti-aircraft missiles before heading for Salisbury. The aircraft was damaged by a Strela 2 missile and came down in rough terrain in the Vuti African Purchase Area east of Lake Kariba. None of the 59 passengers or crew survived.
See also: Operation Vanity
Following the second incident, Air Rhodesia added shrouding to the exhaust pipes of their Viscount aircraft to reduce their infrared signature, and painted the aircraft with a low-radiation paint as countermeasures against heat-seeking missiles.
On the 25th February 1979, the Rhodesian Air Force, with covert assistance from the South African Air Force, launched Operation Vanity, a retaliatory bombing raid against a ZIPRA camp near Livingstone, Zambia.
- P. J. H. Petter-Bowyer (2003). Winds of Destruction. Trafford Publishing. ISBN 1-4120-1204-X.[self-published source]
- Geoffrey Nyarota (2006). Against the Grain: Memoirs of a Zimbabwean Newsman. Zebra Books. Retrieved 18 May 2008.
- "Description of Air Rhodesia Flight RH827". Aviation-Safety.net. Retrieved 8 February 2008.