Thursday, June 20, 2024 Civil/General Aviation » Accidents - Civil » 1970 - 1979  

23.08.70       At 20:20 Zulu, a Cessna “single-engined aircraft”, en route from Greece to Sicily, reported having only 45-mins of fuel left when 118 nautical miles east of Malta. Both 203 (shackleton) squadron and 1151 Marine Craft Unit at Kalafrana were alerted, and Hal-Far airfield activated. The marine craft was about to sail, when the pilot managed to land the aircraft at Hal-Far on its last dregs of fuel.
14.09.70 DH Comet BEA – Airtours G-AJ__ Aircraft had to return to Malta after a small explosion in one of the engines. Crew received an engine fire warning.
__.02.72 Sikorsky S-55 Autair ZS-HDG Helicopter damaged after being blown on its side by strong winds. Partially dismantled and shipped to UK on Panamanian ship Nabulk. Replaced by AB.206 G-AWOY.
26.02.72 V. Vanguard 952 Invicta Air Cargo G-AXNT Landed with outer port engine feathered.
21.04.72 AB.206A JetRanger Autair Helicopter Services Ltd. G-AWOY Replacement for S.55 ZS-HDG. Damaged when jet blast from Seaboard World DC-8-63F (N8635) blew a Heli Union Alouette helicopter against it. (See below.)
21.04.72 SA Alouette III Heli Union F-BPFF Jet blast from Seaboard World DC-8-63F blew helicopter against JetRanger G-AWOY. It was flown to Le Bourget on board a Donaldson Britannia (G-AOVF) on 03.05.72. Replaced by Puma I-EHPC of Elitos.
13.07.72 DC-9 Alitalia   Aircraft burst tyre on landing, with some damage to wing and engine.
15.09.72 DH Comet 4C Egyptair SU-ANC Diversion, cause unknown. c/s MG843, from Cairo to Tripoli. Landed at 16:00, departing at 19:45.
19.11.72 DC-8 UTA F-BOLI Arrived from Le Bourget as UT401 at 12:00, departing for Libya at 13:00. Returned as UT402 at 16:15, preparing to depart at 17:20. Aircraft experienced a loss of power at take-off from runway 24, running off the runway, damaging the upwind VASI on the starboard side, coming to rest on r/w 32. After an inspection had been carried out, the aircraft taxied back to Park 8, and finally departed at 21:13.
20.12.72 P. Cherokee 180E   G-AYIC Aircraft lost on a Luqa to Catania flight. Four missing
11.01.73 DC-9 Alitalia I-DIKI Diverted to Malta between 11:05-11:35 on a Tripoli-Rome flight, c/s AZ881. Reason for diversion unknown.
28.04.73 HS Trident B.E.A. G-AWZS c/s MG356. Landed at 22:00, departing at 23:50. Note in custom files stated “Put back from Tripoli”. Departed on the 29th 07:20. Destination Tripoli crossed out, replaced with Rome.
30.06.73 P. Navajo English & Continental Tours G-AXDD Arrived on this date at 20:00. Had Put Back in file IA-41, no reasons given. Departed on 13.07.73 at 09:15.
20.06.73 P. PA-31 Navajo 310 Fa. Lahn-Flug W. Otto GmbH D-ILFG One of 27 aircraft from the Dusseldorf Flying Club. Group was on a rally, known as Sport Flug Marl 1973 visiting Mediterranean countries. Pilot injured his foot as he was climbing into the aircraft at Obeia, Sardinia. He was taken to hospital on landing at Luqa in the above aircraft. (For a list of this rally’s participants, visit the newly created Air Events page under the Air Show menu. .)
21.06.73 HS Trident III B.E.A. G-AWZO c/s BEKM306. Landed at 16:30. Should have left at 17:30. Put Back 19:05. Departure date/time crossed out, replaced by 24th, 23:00.
23.06.73 F.28 Aviaction D-AHLB Aircraft landed at 21:40, supposed to leave at 22:50. Note in files state “put Back 24th, 12:05”.
23.06.73 HS Trident III B.E.A. G-AWZL c/s BEKM322. Arrived from Birmingham at 07:20, departing at 09:15. Eventually left at 12:30.
07.08.73 Cessna 170   N3458D Aircraft left MIACO at Hal-Far for Luqa, crashing during landing at Luqa.
29.09.73 Cessna 412   DE-FIR Hi-jacked on a Palermo – Luqa flight. Hi-jackers changed their minds and went to another destination.
26.11.73 B.747 K.L.M. PH-BUA Aircraft hi-jacked and diverted to Malta. No deaths/injuries. First B.747 to land at Luqa airport. See report about this hijack below.

KLM hi-jack – accident report

The following article was taken from the Oct/Nov 1973 edition of Take-Off.

Since all the local news media and other publications gave their version of the saga of the hi-jacked Boeing 747 at Luqa, it would be very unfitting if our association did not present its own version of the event.

Monday, 26th November.

Three of our members who are always on the alert – pardon the expression – were at Luqa at about 17.30, some twenty minutes before touchdown of the Jumbo, seeking the best positions to observe the landing. Confirmation that the Jumbo was to land at Luqa came at about 16.30, when the captain asked for permission to land. Details of the runway in use, serviceability’s etc, were given, but the “go-ahead” came at about 16.40. The captain announced that he had fuel for 60 minutes plus, and the aircraft was held over the MLG (Gozo) Beacon at 20,000 feet to burn off fuel. The main runway 24/06 is only 7,800 feet in length, and there was some anxiety as to whether the Jumbo would make a safe landing. Fortunately, the pilot made a perfect landing on runway 24 at 17.50. The amount of runway used was just over 5,500 feet. A remarkable achievement on behalf of the pilot and crew.

The Jumbo taxied onto runway 32, opposite the civil terminal and shut down its engines. Immediately, members’ cameras staring flashing and clicking, but very few photos came out properly as the nose wheel landing light nearly ruined all of them. A few good shots were taken only when the refueling bowsers approached the aircraft.

Negotiations were started between the control tower and the pilot, who asked for a B.747 engineer (who was unavailable, as Malta is not equipped to service such a large aircraft) plus 25 Quarts of oil, and 27,000 US gallons of fuel. All personnel and vehicles were instructed by the hi-jackers approach from the front of the aircraft, within the beam of light. Attempts to refuel the aircraft were hampered from the start, because of a lack of trickie long enough to reach the refueling points. The hi-jackers then asked for a KLM official and a diplomat in exchange for the 247 passengers. As no KLM official was in Malta, a DC-9 had to come from Palermo. It landed at 20.45, and parked on the northern taxiway, adjacent to Park 4.

The Prime Minister, Mr. Dom Mintoff, arrived at the Luqa Tower just after 22.00 hours, and immediately began negotiations with the hi-jackers, through their interpreter. After lengthy negotiations, it was agreed that when half of the required fuel was delivered, the KLM official would go onboard the aircraft, and half of the passengers would be released. The remaining passengers would be released as soon as all the fuel had been supplied. It was stated that it would be suicide to attempt to take-off with the fuel and passengers.

Tuesday, 27th November.

After a long night of negotiations and mistrust, the required fuel was delivered and the passengers released, using the emergency chute as no gangway long enough was available. The release of the 8 hostesses was more difficult to obtain, but they were released after lengthy discussions as a sign of gratitude from the hi-jackers for Mr. Mintoff’s co-operation.

At about 07.00 hours, the Jumbo started its engines, made a U-turn on runway 32 and taxied onto the threshold of runway 24. Whilst awaiting clearance for take-off, the tower informed the pilot that one of the nose-wheels was in a dangerous state. Nevertheless, at 07.05 the take off run was begun, and after rolling for about 5,500 feet, an uneventful take-off was accomplished, thus ending 15 hours of hard bargaining and suspense.

After leaving Malta, KLM861 landed at Dubai at about mid-day, took off again but had to return, when no other country gave it to permission to land. The hi-jackers gave themselves up after acquiring assurances of safe conduct out of the country.

28.01.74 Piper PA-23     Aircraft departed Ciampino Airport for Malta. Pilot sent a Mayday message near the Island of Ponza, stating the aircraft was on fire, at an 800-foot altitude. Aircraft crashed 50 miles west of Naples at around 20.00hrs. Three US nationals missing.
08.03.74 Cessna 172F   G-ASVU This aircraft, described as damaged, was airlifted to Malta on board an RAF Belfast from RAF Akrotiri, arriving at 12:00. It was transported to Hal-Far on the 20th. It was last registered to the Secretary, The Parachute Regiment, and had been cancelled as permanently withdrawn from use on 13.11.73.
28.03.74 CL-44 Tradwewinds G-AWGS Aircraft had arrived the previous day at 19:30, departing at 12:05. Destination listed as “Probably Tripoli” (Note in Custom files states that the pilot failed to obtain clearance outwards.
28.03.74 CL-44 Tradwewinds G-AWDK Aircraft had arrived the previous day at 22:22, departing at 12:45. Destination listed as “Probably Tripoli” (Note in Custom files states that the pilot failed to obtain clearance outwards.
11.09.74 Beech 80 Aircraft Facilities Inc. N7326R Aircraft was on delivery, having arrived the previous day at 16:30. Eventually departed on the 14th at 07:00.
11.09.74 Beech 80 Aircraft Facilities Inc. N7327 As above.
22.10.74 Cessna 182 World Air Ltd. N5886G Landed at 23:45, arriving from Luton. Departure at 17:50 put back to the 26th at 08:30
23.10.74 Cessna 180 World Air N52070 Arrived from Cagliari at 15:15. Meant to depart to Benghazi same day at 17:50. Note in Custom file IA-44: Put back 24th 00:30, left 26-10-74 08:30.
31.12.74 FH.227 Stellair LN-KAA Departed at 03:30. Note in Custom file IA-45 states “Put Back, turned back on reaching Tangier due to engine trouble.”
09.01.75 Cessna 402B World Air Ltd. N3953C Aircraft arrived from Shannon, to Khartoum, departing on the 11th. Nothing to explain the additional day’s stay.
14.01.75 DC-10-30CF O.N.A. N1032F Diverted due to bad weather on a Mecca-Tunis flight. c/s TU5076, landed at 02:45, departing at 13:05.
03.02.75 P. PA-36-285 Piper Aircraft Inc. N44288 Aircraft had arrived the previous day at 20:15 from Tripoli, and scheduled to depart for Tunis at 17:00. Put Back for unknown reasons, leaving on the 5th at 09:30.
24.02.75 B.212 Irish Helicopters Ltd. EI-BAM Helicopter arrived from Ireland on this date at 13:20, destination Glomar North Sea (an oil rig?). Departure date 25th at 09:30 crossed out, no reason given. Departed on the 26th at 15:20.
11.05.75 HS Trident III British A/Ws G-AWZB Landed at 16:00, to depart at 16:55. Put back 13th 05:05.
22.06.75 B. 727 L.A.A. 5A-DAI Aircraft landed at 20:40. Departed on the 23rd at unknown time. Mystere 5A-DAF also arrived on 23.06.75 between 02:30-02:45, but not necessarily in connection with the B.727.
03.05.75 BAC 111 Air Malta G-AYOP Aircraft on lease to Air Malta. Damaged tyre on take-off from Paris, but landed safely at Luqa. Engine needed to be changed, spare engine being brought over by a British Air Ferries Carvair, G-ASDC, “Plain Jane”.
09.11.75 185 Transavia Int. C-GGNN Landed from Clermont at 18:00. Departed on the 20th at 02:30 for Cairo. No reason for such a lengthy stay.
09.11.75 185 Transavia Int. C-GGVT As above.
01.02.76 L. C-130 Saturn Airways   Aircraft hit a lighting pole at Luqa Airport.
08.03.76 Ce. 182 Africair Miami N4946R Aircraft on delivery, landed from Valencia on the 7th at 17:35. Departure on the above date at 07:50 cancelled for unknown reasons, left on the 9th.
25.03.76 HS Trident B.A. G-AWZL Landed at 15:00, scheduled to depart at 16:10. Note in Custom files had “Put Back at 17:15”. Departed on the 26th at 16:00.
03.05.76 Cessna 210L Southeast A/Ls N2307S Arrived from Biarritz, France to Benina, Libya, departing on the 7th. No reason given for the extended stay. c/n 61242, rr 5Y-AZY to Rivelco Ltd.
06.05.76 FH.227 Stellar LN-KAA Aircraft had arrived from Egypt the previous day, scheduled to depart for Monastir, Tunis at 14:10. Unknown delay, departed on the 7th.
14.09.76 B. 727 Air Malta N692WA Originally to depart for Rome at 09:20. Note in IA-52: Put back 10:00hrs depart 15/09 21:35. Destination Rome crossed out, to Tripoli. Same day return at 24:00 as KM117.
23.09.76 DR400/180 Club Aero Belgais F-BVMC Aircraft arrived on the 19th at 17:55, scheduled to depart on the 20th at 13:15. Had Put Back in file IA-52, with departure date & time crossed. Departed on this day at 10:15. c/n 955.
13.04.77 P. Aztec   G-ATBV Returned shortly after departure with unspecified engine trouble. Date of first arrival, and eventual departure unknown.
21.08.77       A strike of Air Traffic Controllers at London's Heathrow Airport, coupled with bad weather over Rome, caused delays at Luqa Airport of up to 12 hours.
__.10.77 B.707 Kuwaiti Airways   Aircraft inbound for runway 14, Luqa Airport. Pilot mistook Ta’ Qali airfield for Luqa, and came close to landing there before the crew realized their mistake. (NOTE: Ta’ Qali is roughly 4-5 miles from the approach to runway 14 – today re-designated 13 – and slightly to the left of Ta’ Qali. Similar incident on 04.05.80. The airfield has nowadays been substantially altered, and there is no chance of this kind of accident happening again today.)
14.11.77 B.720 PIA AP-ATQ Aircraft suffered "nose wheel problem” during pilot training, and making an emergency landing at Luqa on the main wheels. No injuries to crew.
03.12.77 Cv. 440   N90908 Aircraft on lease to Pyramid Airlines. Forced to return to MIACO due to a number of technical difficulties experienced during operations. Aircraft replaced by YS-11A, N159P.
19.12.77 DC-4   N88887 Aircraft landed at Hal-Far with one engine shutdown, and lightning strike damage on the port side of the nose. It s not clear from the report whether the damage occurred on the flight into Malta on the 18th, or on the short hop from Luqa to Hal-Far.
16-17.01.78 P. Cherokee Six   9H-AAI Winds gusting up to 60 knots per hour moved Cv. 880 N48062 against 9H-AAI, damaging it. Cherokee shipped to UK for repairs, eventually returning on 21.06.78.
16-17.01.78 B. 720 Air Malta AP-AMG Winds gusting up to 60 knots per hour moved passenger steps against the aircraft, causing some slight damage.
12.01.78 Boeing 737     Aircraft, belonging to a Tunisian airline, hi-jacked over the Mediterranean, was refused permission to land in Malta.
07.04.78 P. PA-32 Cherokee six   G-AVBU Carried “RAF Expedition Oxford University World Flight” and “Eurotherm International” titles. Aircraft suffered from a fuel leak.
__.06.78 P. Cherokee Arrow     Participant in the int'l air rally of Malta. reported engine trouble and flew straight in.
__.12.78 DC-10-30 Alitalia I-DYNU Aircraft was in Malta on a pilot training session, having arrived on the 2nd. An engine change was required, which was brough over by a French AF C-160 F98/61-ZP.
14.01.79       A hijacked Italian airliner is refused permission to land in Malta.
15.10.79 F.27 Libyan Arab Airlines 5A-DDU Aircraft hi-jacked over Libya and diverted to Malta. No fatalities/injuries, hi-jackers surrendering soon after landing in Malta.
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