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Criminal Occurrence description
Last updated: 20 October 2017
Status:Final
Date:Sunday 8 September 1974
Time:09:40 UTC
Type:Silhouette image of generic B703 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Boeing 707-331B
Operator:Trans World Airlines - TWA
Registration: N8734
C/n / msn: 20063/789
First flight: 1969
Total airframe hrs:21733
Engines: 4 Pratt & Whitney JT3D-3B
Crew:Fatalities: 9 / Occupants: 9
Passengers:Fatalities: 79 / Occupants: 79
Total:Fatalities: 88 / Occupants: 88
Airplane damage: Destroyed
Airplane fate: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Location:93 km (58.1 mls) W off Cephalonia, Greece (   Mediterranean Sea)
Phase: En route (ENR)
Nature:International Scheduled Passenger
Departure airport:Athens-Ellinikon International Airport (ATH/LGAT), Greece
Destination airport:Roma-Fiumicino Airport (FCO/LIRF), Italy
Flightnumber:TW841
Narrative:
Flight TW841 (Tel Aviv-Athens-Rome-New York) left Athens at 09:12 GMT for a 1 hour and 48 minute flight to Rome. The flight was cruising at FL280 when to suddenly enter a steep climb attitude. The captain of PanAm flight 110 who witnessed the event, said the aircraft then rolled to the left into a steep descent. The Boeing 707 disintegrated and crashed into the sea. It was determined that the detonation of an explosive device in the aft cargo compartment buckled and damaged the cabin floor in such a manner that one or more of the elevator and rudder system control cables was stretched and, perhaps, broken. The resultant displacement of control surfaces caused a violent pitch up and yaw and made the aircraft uncontrollable.

Probable Cause:

PROBABLE CAUSE: "The detonation of an explosive device within the aft cargo compartment of the aircraft which rendered the aircraft uncontrollable".

Accident investigation:
cover
Investigating agency: NTSB
Status: Investigation completed
Duration: 199 days (7 months)
Accident number: NTSB/AAR-75-07
Download report: Final report

Classification:
Sabotage
Loss of control

Sources:
» Aircraft hijackings and other criminal acts against civil aviation : statistics and narrative reports / FAA
» NTSB-AAR-75-7


Follow-up / safety actions

NTSB issued 4 Safety Recommendations

Show all AD's and Safety Recommendations

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Map
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-Ellinikon International Airport to Roma-Fiumicino Airport as the crow flies is 1063 km (665 miles).
Accident location: Approximate; accuracy within a few kilometers.

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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