Air Rhodesia Flight 827

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Air Rhodesia Registration VP-YND
Air Rhodesia Vickers 748D Viscount.jpg
Role Vickers 748D Viscount
Manufacturer REQUIRED
First flight 1956
Retired 1979
Status crashed
Primary user Rhodesia

Air Rhodesia Flight 827 was a scheduled flight carrying 54 passengers and 5 crew members that was shot down shortly after departing Kariba. The plane was hit in the jet pipe of the inner port engine by a SAM-7 missile launched by the soldiers from Joshua Nkomo's Zimbabwe Peoples Revolution Army (ZIPRA). The plane burst into flames and crashed out of control into a ravine in the Vuti African Purchase Area. All 59 people on the plane died.[1]


Air Rhodesia Flight 827, a civilian aircraft commonly referred to as Umniati (for Munyati), had just left Kariba Airport (KAB/FVKB) at 5PM and was headed to Salisbury Airport (HRE/FVHA) . The plane was flown by pilots Captain Jan Andre de Plessis and First Officer Michael Thomas Moolman [2] and was full.

Soon after take-off, ZIPRA soldiers launched anti-aircraft missles (some reports have said "Strela 2"[3] ) one of which hit the plane, sending it crashing down at approximately 17:06hrs. It came down about 46 kilometres due east of Kariba, in the Vuti Purchase Area.[4] The plane was damaged beyond repair.

Air Rhodesia general manager, Captain Pat Travers, announced that a "distress signal was made from Viscount VP-YND operating flight RH827 from Victoria Falls, Wankie and Kariba."[4]

Crew and Passengers on Flight 827

Hostesses: Kathryn Jane Creigh-Smith (29), Caroline Lynette du Chemin (21) and Regina Chigwada (23) a trainee air hostess.[4]

Lynnette Ballentyne, Arthur Bensusan (67), Brenda Betts (36), Mark Betts(11), Russell Betts(9), Annette Billington, Marinda Blignaut, Desmond Boyd (53), Gladys Boyd (51), Noel Boyd (26), Ian Boyd (25), Andrea Boyd (16), Leonie Boyd (14), George Dardagan, Ursula Dardagan, Margaret "Margo" Davies, F. Deleplangue, Pauline Delport, Ian Dempsey, B. Derham, T. Descampe, Y.Descampe, Derek Ebben, Alec Fairlie, Nancy Fairlie, Rouche Francois, John Gobey, Donald Goldin, Peter Grey, Andrew Hardinge (14), Michael Harraghy, Ron Isitt, S. Maere, Maere, Lt Andrea Mason, Susan E. Morgan, B. Muzando, R. PLouvier, Spike Powell (A Rhodesian Army Lieutenant ‘Spike’ Powell who had worked with British pseudo-gangs in Kenya during the Mau Mau emergency of the 1950s), Denise Quinese, Mitze Rees, Gillian Tabor, Paul Tasker, John Teede, Sheila Teede, Linda Thomson nee Mann, Henry van der Merwe, J. Viljoen, D. Viljoen, Rob Virgette, Deirdre Wakefield, Ted Wigg (37), Loris Zucchini (58)[2]


With the sole exception of the International Airline Pilots Association, there was no condemnation by the international community for the attack. Western governments Britain and the United States, apparently did not condemn the attack fearing it would considered support of Ian Smith’s white minority government.[3]

Secretary general of Zimbabwe People's Party, Lovemore Chiyangwa expressed sympathy for the loss of life, and deplored the "act of terrorism" commenting to the Herald that "If such acts of barbarism are to continue, the Transitional Government should think again on the necessity of having elections under such conditions."[4]


  • ZIPRA was also responsible for shooting down an Air Rhodesia Viscount on 3 September 1978. The crash site of Flight 827 was only about 50 kilometres north-east of the spot where the sister Viscount, the Hunyani, was shot down on September 3.[4]
  • Rhodesian SAS soldier Keith Nell wrote a book and released a DVD titled Viscount Down: The Complete Story of the Rhodesian Viscount told by a SAS Soldier recounting the event.


  1. Criminal Occurrence description, Aviation Safety Network, Published:, Retrieved:11 February 2015,
  2. 2.0 2.1 Crew & Passengers of the Viscount Disasters.,, Published:unknown, Retrieved:11 February 2015,
  3. 3.0 3.1 [ Books and DVD's covering the shooting down of the civilian Air Rhodesia Viscounts by ZIPRA terrorists during the Rhodesian Bush War.], Books of Zimbabwe, Published:unknown, Retrieved:11 February 2015,
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 4.4 Terrorist missile speculation as second airliner crashes, The Herald title Published:13 February 1979, Retrieved:11 February 2015,