MaxFax: 8/19/1980: Today's Major Historic AV Accident History (Fatalities Pilot Error)

MaxSez: This is the first in a series of major aircraft accident reports that will run every Saturday. Your comment are welcome. The reports are extract from the Av Safety Network files, the photo and Rpts are in the Public Domaine from the WWW.

Status: Final
Date: Tuesday 19 August 1980
Time: 19:08 UTC

Lockheed L-1011 TriStar 200
Operator: Saudi Arabian Airlines
Registration: HZ-AHK
C/n / msn: 1169
First flight: 1979
Total airframe hrs: 2948
Cycles: 1718
Engines: 3 Rolls-Royce RB211-524B2-02
Crew: Fatalities: 14 / Occupants: 14
Passengers: Fatalities: 287 / Occupants: 287
Total: Fatalities: 301 / Occupants: 301
Airplane damage: Destroyed
Airplane fate: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Location: Riyadh International Airport (RUH) ( Saudi Arabia)
Crash site elevation: 625 m (2051 feet) amsl
Phase: En route (ENR)
Nature: Domestic Scheduled Passenger
Departure airport: Riyadh International Airport (RUH/OERY), Saudi Arabia
Destination airport: Jeddah International Airport, Saudi Arabia
Flightnumber: SV163
Flight SV163 landed at Riyadh at 16:06 GMT for a scheduled intermediate stop after a flight from Karachi. At 18:08 the aircraft took off for the final leg to Jeddah. Six minutes and 54 seconds after takeoff, while climbing to FL350, visual and aural warnings indicated smoke in the aft cargo compartment C-3. Climbing through FL220 (at 18:20), a return to Riyadh was initiated. About two minutes later smoke was noted in the aft of the cabin, and passengers were panicking. At 18:25:26 the no. 2 engine throttle was stuck. The fire had by then entered the cabin of the TriStar. Because passengers where fighting in the aisles, aft of doors L2 and R2, the captain asked everybody to remain seated (18:27:40). On final approach engine no. 2 was shut down, and the captain told the cabin crew not to evacuate. Flight SV163 landed back at Riyadh runway 01 at 18:36:24 The crew continued to a taxiway and told the tower that they were going to shut the engines down and evacuate. The engines were shut down at 18:42:18. Because no evacuation had been initiated by then, crash, fire and rescue personnel tried to open the doors. At about 19:05 they succeeded in opening door 2R. About three minutes later, the interior was seen to be engulfed in flames. None of the occupants survived the fire.
Probable Cause:

PROBABLE CAUSE: “The initiation of a fire in the C-3 cargo compartment. The source of the ignition of the fire is undetermined.
Factors contributing to the fatal results of this accident were 1) the failure of the captain to prepare the cabin crew for immediate evacuation upon landing and his failure in not making a maximum stop landing on the runway, with immediate evacuation, 2) the failure of the captain to properly utilize his flight crew throughout the emergency 3) the failure of C/F/R headquarters management personnel to ensure that its personnel had adequate equipment and training to function as required during an emergency.”


R.I.P to the victims. What an immensely sad and devastating event.
Prayers to their families and them.


Wait? So they never actually found out what happened…


I don’t think they did probably because the aircraft was damaged beyond repair

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They have never found the exact cause until to date. The investigation onlybevealed the fire had started in the aft C3 cargo compartment but they never found the exact cause of the fire from the compartment

One early speculation was that the fire originated in the passenger cabin when a passenger used his own butane stove to heat water for making tea. However, this was rejected by the findings of the official accident report.

Source to Wikipedia for some of the informations


No wonder such incidents happen 😶


Accident is spelt with an e not a, max.


It wouldve been terrible to have landed, thought the emergency services could save you but pass away :(((

@Qantas737guy… Thank you for the correction, I’ll tell my IPAD Spell Checker
to watch his step. Always nice to have a grammarian in the audience providing free secretarial, editing service.


Get grammarly (i think it works on the iPad)

This topic is very informative, thanks for the info

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Was this the accident with the captain slow to learn, the Flight engineer hardly knew how to read?
That’s what I remember from air crash investigation.
I think.

In my opinion these guys had no business being pilot’s.
Only the first officer was good.

I look forward to this series 😊


I don’t think they should havebeen qualified as pilots especially on a large plane like the L1011.

The decision of the aircraft being allowed to vacate the runway without being assessed by emergency personnell even though it had declared an emergency was really beyond regulations.


Why would he do that? I didn’t quite understand that. Was it about the engines?

@nicochile2. MaxSez: The only people who know the real truth are dead Nico!
30+ years later only the “Shadow” Knows!

(Who is the “Shadow”, Google it…LOL)


Wasn’t there some sort of complicated psychological analysis made by the investigators?

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Until now, we haven’t discovered the reason why the pilots didn’t stop until the end of the runway. The first engine was turned off around 30 minutes after the plane fully stopped

Here’s the video for those who are interested, made by Allec Joshua Ibay


@SingaporeAirlines… MaxSez: Sad commentary on Saudi crew selection in those days… Hard to believe. I figured it was a Hajj flight. I’m confidant all involved were welcomed to Paradise. Insha’Allah!


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