23 April 1959 Air Charter Turkey Crash

As you may already know, flying on an aircraft can be fairly dangerous and accidents may happen. Due to this, safety in aviation is very important as it can be a risky field. In the history of aviation, there have been many accidents and crashes. Here in this post we are going to take a look at 1959 Air Charter Turkey Crash, which happened on the 23rd of April that year. We will learn about the background of this unfortunate event as well as the crash itself and the investigation afterwards.

Background of the Crash

The purpose of the flight during which this crash has happened was carrying some important cargo from the UK to Australia. In order to get the unspecified and confidential equipment to Woomera Airfield in Australia, a crew of twelve men took of on a modified Avro Super Trader IV named G-AGRH Zephyr. The modification on the aircraft was that it had a cargo door near its tail. Also, during the flight, the aircraft was kept unpressurized.

The flight was being carried out in different parts and during this part of the flight, they stopped in Ankara, the capital city of Turkey. Next, they were planning to go to Bahrain through Tehran in Iran. Between these two cities, there is a lot of distance and Turkey’s largest lake, Lake Van, would be on the route that they were going to use.

The Air Charter Turkey Crash

Following the departure of the aircraft that day, they flew over a town in Sivas, a province located in the Central Anatolia region of Turkey, at 08:14. Then they flew over Elazığ at 08:59 and roughly around half an hour later, at 09:26, the last position report of the aircraft came, when it was flying over Muş. After this last position report, the aircraft crashed on Mount Süphan, which is located close to Lake Van. As a result of the crash, all twelve personnel in the aircraft died.

Investigation on the Crash

After the crash, a rescue team made up of six men from the Royal Air Force of the United Kingdom went to the site where the crash had happened. It took six days for the aircraft to be located and some more days for the rescue team to get to the accident site from Nicosia, Cyprus. The team got some important files from the aircraft and made some evaluations. Then they blew up the remains of the aircraft with explosives, since the aircraft was carrying top secret equipment.

The Cause of the 1959 Air Charter Accident

Through the evaluations about the crash, some important details about the cause of the accident have been found. Basically, we can say that the main cause of the crash was the strong wind around the area when the aircraft was passing through there. Due to some miscalculations, the strong winds may have caused the aircraft to move away from its original route. Also, the cold weather may have been another contributing factor to the crash as well.


Anon. (n.d.), 1959 Air Charter Türkiye kazası, Wikipedia in Turkish, Retrieved 30 April 2022

< https://tr.wikipedia.org/wiki/1959_Air_Charter_T%C3%BCrkiye_kazas%C4%B1 >

Anon. (n.d.), 1959 Air Charter Turkey crash, Wikipedia, Retrieved 30 April 2022

< https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1959_Air_Charter_Turkey_crash >

Mayday365 Editor (23 April 2015), 1959 AIR CHARTER TURKEY CRASH, Mayday365, Retrieved 30 April 2022

< https://mayday365.wordpress.com/2015/04/23/1959-air-charter-turkey-crash/ >