Martinair Holland Flight 138 Hits Mountain Descending into Rising Terrain
The aircraft departed Surabaya at 12:03 UTC for a hadj flight to Jeddah with a planned intermediate stop at Colombo.
Around 16:30 UTC Colombo Control cleared the flight down from FL350 to FL150. At 16:38, when the flight was 50 nm from Colombo the air traffic controller cleared the flight further down to 5000 feet and to report reaching 8000 feet. At 16:44 Colombo Approach Control then cleared the flight down to 2000 feet and told them to expect a runway 04 approach. The crew were then to report overhead the KAT NDB or when the airfield was in sight. The crew continued their descent until the airplane crashed into the Anjimalai Mountain at an altitude of 4355 feet, about 40 nm East of Colombo.
Was cleared to 2000 feet after reporting between 7000-6000 feet when 14 miles out. The aircraft later crashed into a mountain.
Martinair also initiated its “hadj flights”, transporting pilgrims from Indonesia to Mecca. Fate struck during one of these flights – on December 4, 1974 – when the DC-8 flew into the side of a mountain while approaching its landing in Colombo, Sri Lanka. Tragically, all 184 Indonesian passengers and 7 Dutch crew members died.