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Pakistan International Airlines 740

By Patrick Mondout

On November 26, 1979, a Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) Boeing B707-340C crashed while attempting to return to Jeddah Airport, Saudi Arabia after an on-board fire. All 11 crewmembers and 145 passengers were killed.

At a little after 1 a.m. and 21 minutes after take-off on a flight to Karachi, the flight crew reported smoke in the cockpit in the cabin area. They requested and received air traffic control (ATC) clearance to return to the airport. While on the emergency descent the aircraft struck the ground and exploded.

The in-flight fire started in the back of the cabin and rapidly spread throughout the aircraft. The origin of the fire was not determined. The crew did not follow emergency and smoke evacuation procedures and smoke incapacitated the flight crew.

Source: World Book Encyclopedia, 1980 Yearbook.

Pakistan International Airlines 740 at a Glance
AirlinePakistan International Airlines
DateNovember 26, 1979
Flight number740
Registration NumberAP-AWZ
Crew Fatalities11 of 11
Passenger Fatalities144 of 144
Total Fatalities156 of 156

Air Safety References:
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Faith, Nicholas. Black Box: The Air-Crash Detectives-Why Air Safety Is No Accident. Motorbooks International, 1997.
Gero, David. Aviation Disasters: The World's Major Civil Airliner Crashes Since 1950. Sutton, 2003.
Job, Macarthur. Air Disaster (Volume 1). Aerospace Publications: Fyshwick, Australia, 1995.
Job, Macarthur. Air Disaster (Volume 2). Aerospace Publications: Fyshwick, Australia, 1996.
Job, Macarthur. Air Disaster (Volume 3). Aerospace Publications: Fyshwick, Australia, 1999.
Krause, Shari Stamford. Aircraft Safety: Accident Investigations, Analyses & Applications. McGraw Hill, New York, 1996.
Macpherson, Malcolm. The Black Box : All-New Cockpit Voice Recorder Accounts Of In-flight Accidents. New York: William Morrow, 1998.
Macpherson, Malcolm. On a Wing and a Prayer: Interviews with Airline Disaster Survivors. Perennial, 2002.
Owen, David. Air Accident Investigation, 2nd Edition. Motorbooks International, 2002.
Stewart, Stanley. Emergency! - Crisis on the Flight Deck, 2nd Edition. Airlife Publishing, England, 2003.
Walters, James M. Aircraft Accident Analysis: Final Reports. McGraw-Hill Professional, 2000.
Wells, Alexander T. Commercial Aviation Safety, 3rd Edition. McGraw-Hill Professional, 2001.


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Airline: Pakistan International Airlines

Location: Saudi Arabia

Aircraft: Boeing 707-340C

Date: November 26, 1979

Total Fatalities: 156 of 156

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