View Full Version : 30 September 1975 Beirut - Malev

Info Search
12th Mar 2007, 09:48
Trying to get info on incident that took place 30 September 1975.
At 00:40 there was contact between the Tower of Beirut and two planes who stood on the tarmac: the KL 845 and the TL 223 (cargo plane of TMA). I am trying to find the pilots or anyone who has info because of the following.
At 00:44 was the last contact between the Malev 240 and the tower of Beirut. The plane went down minutes after that, just 10 km off the coast where the airport was located. There were 60 people on board, one of whom was my father.
Wikipedia has some information and there is article on "lost flight 240" but
the incident is still labeled "cause unknown". There was never any investigation to speak of, no black boxes retreival, passengers' list still classified and now "lost" etc etc. Only just last month got the info that 37 bodies have been retreived from the sea. RAF which was based on cyprus and carried localisation flight (rest info at historical branch) and USA navy 6th fleet who was nearby (rest info now at CIA) are not giving info because of "secrecy act". Debris shows plane was shot down (external explosion, not internal source). What happened and where are my father's remains (and that of so many others). Who knows something? Please help and let me know.

Mac the Knife
12th Mar 2007, 13:29
You mean this - http://www.airliners.net/articles/read.main?id=55 - article?

After 30+ years it'd be surprising if anything further emerged.

Info Search
12th Mar 2007, 13:53
Yes, this is the article.
There is already more info, but just not enough to get a whole picture.
Official documents pertaining to this incident remain behind closed doors, even after 30 years, as it it apparently still might "harm national security" or "international relationships". Nonetheless, the pilots on the ground saw perhaps something, perhaps someone heard of something or knows more and would perhaps come forward... after 30+ years... some questions deserve to get an answer and some remains deserve to get a decent burial.

29th Jun 2007, 20:42
Dear Info Search,

I am writing to you because my Lebanese family has also suffered from the Malev crash in 1975. My husband's parents (father and mother) both died in the crash leaving behind them three young boys. At the time, it was the begining of the civil war and no one really investigated the matter. My inlaws where coming back from Paris to Beirut. Other than the fact that you are mentioning in your story, it is interesting to know no one knows exactly where the flight came from and whether it had stoped in Cyprus and why the names of the victims were never released? We always thought since the plane came from Paris, it had one stop which was Budapest to refil and take more passengers on its way to Beirut.
Do you think that there is also a way in investigating the "french connection" and have you tried that? what about the passengers list, where you able to get it? We know that there were about 12 nuns and priests on the plane.

We would like to pursue this further and understand what happened. We have read that there was a memorium for the victims family that took place in Malta in 2006. http://www.ivao.aero/events/day.asp?Id=30/09/2006
Is there an association for the victim's families? Please let us know how we can join you in your search for the truth.

Info Search
10th Jul 2007, 23:44
Just posted the following:

Dear Hassoun,

Thank you for your message and I am sorry to hear about your inlaws.
I am intererested in this particular flight because my father was on board. Unlike the lebanese relatives however, we did not know about the fact that about half of the passengers' bodies were recovered from the sea the next day. I learned about this fact only a few months ago through another relative through the internet.

With respect to the flight, it originated from Budapest, it's home airport. Like your relatives, my father needed to go to Lebanon and as Malev was one of the few very regular companies flying to Beirut, he flew from another airport, in this case Amsterdam, before boarding in Budapest. The plane did not have a stop at Cyprus, but of course had contact with the cypriotic aircontroller as it flew it's airway.

Indeed, the passengers' list is still undisclosed. With respect to the nuns and priests, I only heard about 4 nuns, one of which I knew from my school in Lebanon. Do you have more information on that, such as names or the congregation they were from?

With respect to Malta, I think it was just a kind of event. I have not heard of any Maltese passenger and I don't see anything linking it to the relatives, Hungary or Lebanon for that matter.

In any event, thanks again for your message and I hope to hear from you soon.

Kind regards

Guigan Dida
27th Oct 2011, 12:27
Dear Hassoun,

We are a small team production based in Beirut. We are making programs concerning social stories who didn't have their voice and time in Lebanon. I went personaly to an international assocation who pleased me to do a documentary about the malev crash of september 1975 who was never published in Lebanon and from which there are still persons suffering today. That's how I got writing you reading the forums about the crash.
Dear Hassoun, we will be very intersted to meet you for this. Our program is called "Safha Jdide". Here is our number 00961 1 577 688. We are called Tt production. you can write me personally also on [email protected].
With all the respect I have about what happened to all relatives of passengers of the Malev flight, I deeply hope we can meet you taking strongly in account that it's not the easist thing to talk about old heavy past stories. But we really think, Lebanon should finally be informed .. With best reguards, Dida Guigan from Tt production

31st Oct 2011, 11:50
The day after the accident the Lebanese DGCA included the following in a statement to the press. The aircraft was cleared to descend to 11,000ft at 0032Z and at 0037Z further cleared down to 6,000ft. At 0044Z pilot reported 90 miles northeast (?) of the airport and reported again when 40 miles from the airport, estimating overhead at 0052Z. There was then apparently no further contact with the flight. The aircraft crashed into the sea 6 miles off shore.

A brief summary of the accident in the ICAO Adrep system based on 'Lebanese State File' AC0175 adds that the ILS was unserviceable and the the aircraft would have been visual below cloud with 20km visibility. The report goes on to say that eye witness reports of 'fire or explosion' could not be substantiated and that there was no evidence of an explosion or fire on any of the bodies autopsied, although 'one nylon jacket showed evidence of heat.'

This accident used to be included on the US governments list of 'criminal acts against aircraft', apparently based on the early reports of an 'explosion' and that 'the noise of the crash had sounded more like an explosion than impact with water'(!) but was removed in about 1981 after a review of available information did not substantiate these reports.

It could have been a bomb or it could have been that the pilot just flew into the sea (visual approach on a dark night over a dark sea with the only visual reference being the distant lights of Beirut - it's happened before).

All the rest about the PLO office and who or what might or might not have been onboard is interesting but, by itself, is evidence of nothing.