Did you know?
On August 14, 2005, a Helios Airways flight turned into a bizarre tragedy when the aircraft became a "flying tomb" and crashed into a mountain near the town of Grammatiko, Athens.
Helios Airways Flight 522, a Boeing 737-300, had been travelling from Larnaca, Cyprus, to Prague, Czech Republic, with a scheduled stop in Athens. While the aircraft was climbing to its cruising altitude of 34,000 feet, a catastrophic loss of cabin pressure and oxygen supply caused the temperature in the aircraft to gradually descend to -50 degrees Celsius.
The extreme temperatures at altitude froze everyone inside the aircraft, killing them. Andreas Prodromou, one of the stewards, was the last to fall victim as he fought desperately to regain control of the aircraft from the frozen pilots until he too was overcame by the severe cold. His heroics were witnessed by two Greek F-16s sent up to investigate.
Even with the crew and passengers completely frozen, the aircraft continued to fly at altitude for 2 hours on autopilot before it ran out of fuel. The Greek F-16s followed its descent until the aircraft crashed into a mountain at Grammatiko, 25 miles north of the Greek capital. All 115 passengers and 6 crew were lost.
The final report blames Cyprus and Greece's deadliest air disaster on the pilots, who failed to recognize what was happening until it was too late.
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