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Last updated: 3 December 2021
Date:Wednesday 2 August 1961
Type:Silhouette image of generic B703 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Boeing 707-344
Operator:South African Airways - SAA
Registration: ZS-CKE
MSN: 17930/155
First flight: 1960-08-10 (1 years)
Crew:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 12
Passengers:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 122
Total:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 134
Aircraft damage: Substantial
Aircraft fate: Repaired
Location:Athens Airport (ATH) (   Greece)
Phase: Takeoff (TOF)
Nature:International Scheduled Passenger
Departure airport:Athens-Hassani Airport (ATH/LGAT), Greece
Destination airport:Nairobi-Embakasi Airport (NBO/HKNA), Kenya
The aircraft scraped a wall and struck a tree on takeoff from Athens, Greece. The flight continued to Nairobi where it was found that all inboard and outboard trailing edge flaps were damaged. A large part of the ventral fin was missing, both main undercarriages had suffered damage and the starboard elevator and tailplane leading edges were damaged.
The aircraft operated on a regular flight from London, U.K. to Johannesburg, South Africa, with en route stops at Athens and Nairbobi.

Unconfirmed reports suggest that the accident was related to the changeover from lbs to kilograms in tables used to calculate aircraft engine performance required for takeoff. The error resulted in the weight of freight/fuel and passengers being underestimated.


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This map shows the airport of departure and the intended destination of the flight. The line between the airports does not display the exact flight path.
Distance from Athens-Hassani Airport to Nairobi-Embakasi Airport as the crow flies is 4536 km (2835 miles).

This information is not presented as the Flight Safety Foundation or the Aviation Safety Network’s opinion as to the cause of the accident. It is preliminary and is based on the facts as they are known at this time.
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