Crash site Ankara/Esenboga airport, Turkey 
Airline BEA (British European Airways)
Aircraft De Havilland Comet 4B  –  G-ARJM  
Route London – Rome – Athens – Istanbul – Ankara – Nicosia – Tel Aviv 
Crew 7  –  0 survivors
Passengers 27  –  7 survivors 


The crash

The airplane was on a scheduled flight from London to Tel Aviv, Israel with several stops along the way. From Istanbul the flight was operated by BEA on behalf of Cyprus Airways. The 3 crew members were from BEA and the 4 cabin staff members were employed by Cyprus Airways.
The plane landed at Ankara airport late in the evening without any problems.
Shortly after take off from Ankara the plane rapidly assumed a very steep climbing angle. It then stalled with the left wing down at the height of about 140 meters and sank to the ground in a relatively flat attitude. The plane crashed at 23:43 only 1.600 meters from the airport control tower.
The plane was almost completely destroyed by impact and fire.
The probable cause of the accident was the obstruction of the pitch pointer in the captain’s director horizon which led him to make an excessively steep climb.


The mail

On board the plane was mail destined for Cyprus and Israel. A part of the mail was recovered and forwarded with a handstamp or different labels used by the Cyprus or Israelian postal authorities.
Only one items sent from the Nordic countries is known.


Size:  33 x 6 mm.

Probably used on Cyprus.






Examples of mail

19611221-010a 19611221-010b
Cover from Sweden postmarked STOCKHOLM 1  18.12.61 addressed to Larnaca, Cyprus with the crash handstamp type A. On the back is a transit postmark ZÜRICH 19.XII.61 which could indicate that the cover was loaded on board in Rome. Also Cyprus arrival postmark NICOSIA 1 JA 62.
Thiesen Collection.