Pakistan International Airlines Flight 705

Pakistan International Airlines Flight 705 (PK705) was a Boeing 720 airliner that crashed while descending to land at Cairo International Airport on 20 May 1965. Of the 121 passengers and crew on board, all but 6 were killed.[2] The accident, the fourth and worst involving a Boeing 720, was the deadliest to occur in Egypt at the time and remains the third-deadliest, behind Flash Airlines Flight 604 and Metrojet Flight 9268.

Pakistan International Airlines Flight 705
PIA Boeing 720 at LHR 1964.jpg
A Pakistan International Airlines Boeing 720 similar to the one involved in the accident
Date20 May 1965
SummaryControlled flight into terrain during approach; excessive descent - cause undetermined[1]
SiteCairo International Airport, Egypt
Aircraft typeBoeing 720B
OperatorPakistan International Airlines
Flight originKarachi Airport, Pakistan
2nd stopoverDhahran International Airport, Saudi Arabia
Last stopoverCairo International Airport, Egypt
DestinationLondon Heathrow Airport, United Kingdom


Wreaths laid at a memorial to the crash on 20 May 2013 by representatives from the Embassy of Pakistan to Egypt and local Pakistani community members

Flight 705 on 20 May 1965 was an inaugural flight between Karachi, Pakistan and London, United Kingdom and was carrying distinguished guests and journalists among the 114 passengers.[3] The aircraft was scheduled to stop at Dharan in Saudi Arabia, Cairo and then Geneva before completing its journey to London.[3][3] As the aircraft was on final approach to Cairo International Airport, the pilot reported problems with the flaps; shortly thereafter, the aircraft crashed southeast of the airport and broke up as it exploded into flames.[3] Six of the passengers were thrown clear of the wreckage, but everyone else on board was killed.[3] Among the dead was the Chinese aircraft designer Huang Zhiqian, who was chief designer of the fighter jet Shenyang J-8.[4][5]


The aircraft was a Boeing 720-040B[note 1] with the registration AP-AMH and manufacturer's serial number 18379; it was first flown on 19 October 1962 and delivered to Pakistan International Airlines on 7 November 1962.[6] At the time of the accident the aircraft had flown 8378 hours.[6]


On 26 May, local police reported that a transistor radio had been found in the wreckage of the aircraft with jewellery valued at $120,000 hidden in it.[7]

The probable cause of the crash was that "the aircraft did not maintain the adequate height for the circuit and continued to descend until it contacted the ground. The reason for that abnormal continuation of descent is unknown."[8]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ The aircraft was a Boeing 720B model; Boeing assigns a unique code for each company that buys one of its aircraft, which is applied as an infix to the model number at the time the aircraft is built, hence "720-040B".


  1. ^ Retrieved December 17th 2018
  2. ^ Accident description at the Aviation Safety Network
  3. ^ a b c d e "121 Killed in Desert Air Disaster – Pakistan Plane Crashed on new London Route". News. The Times (56327). London. 20 May 1965. p. 14.
  4. ^ Wu Tao 吴涛 (9 April 2012). "大话航空强国梦(十五):各领风骚数百年". Carnoc (in Chinese). Retrieved 12 February 2019.
  5. ^ 中国近代航空工业史 (1909–1949) [History of Modern Chinese Aviation Industry (1909–1949)] (in Chinese). China Aviation Industry Press. 2013. pp. 328–330. ISBN 978-7-5165-0261-7.
  6. ^ a b Pither 1998, p. 213
  7. ^ "£43,000 Jewels in Airliner Wreck". News. The Times (56332). London. 27 May 1965. p. 11.
  8. ^ ICAO Circular 88-AN/74 (113–117)

External linksEdit

Coordinates: 30°07′19″N 31°24′20″E / 30.12194°N 31.40556°E / 30.12194; 31.40556