Olympic Airways plane crashes
The following are significant events involving the airline or its subsidiares. The numbered events are those involving at least one airline passenger death where the aircraft flight had a direct or indirect role, and where at least one of the dead passengers was not a stowaway, hijacker, or saboteur. Only events from from 1970 until 2009, when the airline ceased operations, are included below.
The airline called Olympic Air is a separate airline that started operations after the demise of Olympic Airways.
- 21 October 1972; Olympic Airways YS11; near Athens, Greece: The aircraft crashed into the sea during an approach in conditions of reduced visibility. One of the four crew members and 36 of the 49 passengers were killed.
- 23 November 1976; Olympic Airways YS11; near Kozani, Greece: During approach, the aircraft crashed into a hillside at the 4300 foot (1310 meter) level during a cloudy and rainy weather on a daytime flight. The four crew members and 46 passengers were all killed.
3 August 1989; Olympic Aviation Shorts 330; Samos, Greece: The aircraft into a hillside at the 3960 foot (1210 meter) level during a daylight approach in thick fog. All three crew members and 31 passengers were killed.
- 4 January 1998; Olympic Airways 747; flight 417; over Atlantic Ocean:
Prior to the flight from Athens to New York, a passenger who had asthma and a history of sensitivity to secondhand smoke requested seating in the non-smoking area of the aircraft. Once onboard, the passenger's family discovered that their assigned seats were three rows ahead of the economy class smoking section. This smoking section was not partitioned off from the non-smoking section. Prior to takeoff and during the flight, one of the passenger's family members made three requests of the cabin crew to switch seats, but the cabin crew did not arrange for a switch into one of the 11 available unoccupied seats on the aircraft. Several hours into the flight, the passenger suffered a reaction to the ambient smoke and died.
A U.S. District Court determined that exposure to ambient second-hand smoke was the primary cause of the passenger's death. The U.S. Supreme Court, in a decision made on 24 February 2004 (case 02-1348), held that this event constituted an accident under Article 17 of the Warsaw Convention, an international treaty that among other things defines an accident as something that is an unexpected or unusual event or happening that is external to the passenger. There were 411 passengers on the flight.
U.S. Court of Appeals case 00-17509, 12 December 2002
http://airsafe.com/events/airlines/olympic.htm -- Revised: 28 January 2017