Lost Souls of Grammatiko: The crash of Helios Airways flight 522

Firefighters tackle the flames at the crash site of Helios Airways flight 522. (Cyprus Mail)
Map of Cyprus. (Nations Online Project)
5B-DBY, the aircraft involved in the accident, photographed three days before the crash. (Mila Daniel)
Helios Airways promotional material used the catchphrase, “Here comes the sun!” (justplanes.com)
Overview of the Boeing 737’s pressurization system. (AAISB)
How the P5 pressurization panel is laid out. (AAISB)
Helios Airways flight attendants Andreas Prodromou and Haris Charalambous in an undated photo. (AP)
Items relevant to the pressurization panel in the preflight procedure. (AAISB)
The route of Helios 522. (Google + own work)
The equipment cooling panel. (AAISB)
Negative effects begin to accumulate as altitude increases and blood oxygen content decreases. (AAISB)
Annotated map of flight 522’s full flight path. (AAISB)
A CGI image of F-16s tailing flight 522. (TheFlightChannel)
Another CGI image of an F-16 maneuvering alongside the cockpit of flight 522. This one appeared in Mayday season 4 episode 10: “Ghost Plane.”
The portable oxygen bottle and mask used by the person in the cockpit. The F-16 pilots initially thought the person wasn’t wearing a mask, but that would have been impossible at 34,000 feet, and it was later determined that the person used the portable cylinders. (AAISB)
The point of impact and initial debris path after the plane struck the first ridge. (AAISB)
A water bomber works to extinguish flames at the crash site. (EMAK)
Passenger baggage lay strewn across the burning chaparral. (EMAK)
Firefighters work to extinguish the flames near the 737’s overturned tail section. (Cyprus Mail)
A firefighting helicopter fights the blaze at the crash site. (Cyprus Mail)
An Olympic Airways 737 overflies the crash site, carrying investigators and test pilots engaged in a re-enactment of flight 522 intended to verify the behavior of the autopilot and pressurization system. (11Aviation Videos)
Emergency crews inspect the burned-over center wing section, which came to rest in the second ravine. Although there was very little fuel on board, the dry conditions around the crash site led to an intense wildfire which later burned over this section, explaining the heavy fire damage. (EMAK)
One of the 737’s engines came to rest on the second ridge. (EMAK)
Mangled chunks of flight 522’s fuselage lie atop the second ridge. (EMAK)
The center fuselage section traveled the farthest, coming to rest in the second ravine. (Milos Bicanski)
The tail section, with its still intact image of Helios, was the most recognizable part of the wreckage. (Greek Herald)
It’s hard to believe that such a horrific tragedy could happen in such a picturesque location. (AP)
Officials examine the wreckage of flight 522’s center section. (Reuters)
Rescuers remove the body of a victim from the crash site. (Louisa Gouliamak)
Firefighters battle the flames near the center section. (NBC News)
Random pieces of fuselage were scattered throughout the debris trail. (EMAK)
Another view of the burned center section. (AAISB)
A memorial chapel and shrine now stand on the ridge where flight 522 first struck the ground. (Orthodoxia News Agency)



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Admiral Cloudberg

Admiral Cloudberg


Analyzer of plane crashes and author of upcoming book (eventually™). Contact me via @Admiral_Cloudberg on Reddit or by email at kylanddempsey@gmail.com.