Event Details

Title:Ethiopian Airlines B767 (ET-AIZ) Aircraft Accident In the Federal Islamic Republic of the Comoros, in the Indian Ocean on November 23, 1996
Micro summary:After being hijacked, this Boeing 767-200ER experienced fuel exhaustion and crashed into the shoreline while attempting to ditch.
Event Time:1996-11-23 at 1220 UTC
File Name:1996-11-23-ET.pdf
Publishing Agency:Ethiopian Civil Aviation Authority Flight Safety Department
Publishing Country:Ethiopia
Report number:AI-3/96
Site of event:Comoros Islands
Latitude/Longitude:S1122 E4318E
Departure:Bole International Airport, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
Airplane Type(s):Boeing 767-200 ER
Flight Phase:Cruise
Operator(s):Ethiopian Airways
Type of flight:Revenue
Serious Injuries:44
Other Injuries:0
Executive Summary:On Saturday, November 23, 1996, Ethiopian Airlines Flight No. 961, a Boeing 767-200 ER, registration ET-AI2 was on a regularly scheduled international passenger flight from Bole International Airport, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia to Abidjan with intermediate stops at Nairobi, Brazzaville and Lagos. There were 163 passengers and 12 crew members on board.

According to the cabin crew's report, twenty minutes after takeoff at about 0829 UTC, one of the hijackers stood up from his seat and ran up the aisle to the cockplt, and the other two followed him heading for the cockpit. While rushing to the cockpit one of the hijackers said "Every body should be seated, I have a bomb! ".

Then they opened the cockpit door and stormed in. They declared to the pilots that they were eleven, and beat the First Officer and forced him out of the cockpit. They then grabbed at the fire axe and fire extinguisher bottle from their respective stowages and ordered the pilot-in-command to change destination and fly to Australia.

The pilot-in-command explained to the hijackers that he had not enough fuel to reach Australia and demanded to make a refueling stop at Mombassa.

The hijackers refused the refueling stop and continued arguing with the pilot-in-command until eventually the aircraft ran out of fuel. At this time the aircrafi was descending to the Indian Ocean over the Comoros Islands. The aircraft brushed the water in a left-wing-low attitude and then was held in a straight and level attitude. After hitting a reef with its belly, it broke into four sections.

The aircraft was destroyed on impact. The accident occurred at 1220 UTC during daylight hours at coordinates of 110 22s latitude and 43O 18E longitude. Of the 175 occupants 6 crew members and 119 passengers were fatally injured in the accident. Six crew members and 38 passengers sustained serious injuries, 2 passengers sustained minor injuries and 4 passengers received no injury.

The Investigation Committee has determined that the cause of the accident was unlawfui interference by hijackers which resulted in loss of engines power due to fuel exhaustion.

As a result of the investigation, the Committee has issued recommendations, based on this report, so that all concerned will take the appropriate action as soon as possible.
Learning Keywords:Operations - Controlled Flight Into Terrain
Operations - Deadstick/Power Loss
Operations - Ditching/Water Evacuation
Operations - Fuel Exhaustion
Operations - Terrorism/Violence
Operations - Training Deficiency
Consequence - Hull Loss
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