PIA Flight 705
A PIA Boeing 720 similar to the one involved in the accident
|Date||20 May 1965|
|Summary||Crashed during approach, excessive descent|
|Site||Cairo International Airport, Egypt|
|Aircraft type||Boeing 720-040B|
|Operator||Pakistan International Airlines|
|Flight origin||Karachi Airport, Pakistan|
|2nd stopover||Dhahran International Airport, Saudi Arabia|
|Last stopover||Cairo International Airport, Egypt|
|Destination||London Heathrow Airport, United Kingdom|
Pakistan International Airlines Flight 705 (PK705) was a Boeing 720 airliner that crashed while descending to land at Cairo International Airport on 20 May 1965. 121 passengers and crew were killed, leaving six survivors. The accident, the fourth and worst involving a Boeing 720, was the deadliest to occur in Egypt at the time, and remains the third-deadliest behind Flash Airlines Flight 604 and Metrojet Flight 9268.
Flight 705 on 20 May 1965 was an inaugural flight between Karachi, Pakistan and London, United Kingdom and was carrying distinguished guests and journalists among the 114 passengers. The aircraft was planned to stop at Dharan, Cairo and then Geneva before completing its journey to London. As the aircraft was on final approach to Cairo International Airport, the pilot reported problems with the flaps; shortly thereafter, the aircraft crashed southeast of the airport and broke up as it exploded into flames. Six of the passengers were thrown clear of the wreckage, but everyone else on board was killed.
The aircraft was a Boeing 720-040B registered in Pakistan as AP-AMH. The Boeing 720 had manufacturer serial number 18379 and line number 321 and was first flown on 19 October 1962 and delivered to Pakistan International Airlines on 7 November 1962. At the time of the accident the aircraft had flown 8378 hours.
On 26 May the local police reported that $120,000 of jewellery was found in the wreckage of the flight hidden in a transistor radio.
The probable cause was that "The aircraft did not maintain the adequate height for the circuit and continued to descend until it contacted the ground. The reason for that abnormal continuation of descent is unknown".
- Accident description at the Aviation Safety Network
- "121 Killed in Desert Air Disaster – Pakistan Plane Crashed on new London Route." (News). The Times (London). Friday, 20 May 1965. (56327), p. 14.
- Pither 1998, p. 213
- "£43,000 Jewels in Airliner Wreck" (News). The Times (London). Thursday, 27 May 1965. (56332), p. 11.
- ICAO Circular 88-AN/74 (113–117)
- Pither, Tony (1998). The Boeing 707 720 and C-135. England: Air-Britain (Historians) Ltd. ISBN 0 85130 236 X.