Travel Forum


The recent tragic events of the Helios air crash has touched the lives of all those with a connection too and within Cyprus, we feel to let those of you with the desire to do so to have the space to be able to write your thoughts and your comments.

 This is not intended to be a place for conjecture and speculation on what happened, however we will publish such as long as it is non inflammatory, We intend it as a place for you to express your thoughts and condolences . Akin perhaps to the flower tributes one might wish to leave, but do not have access to the appropriate place.

 It has also made us aware of how not enough notice is taken of comments made by travelers themselves to the various authorities (If they ever get that far! ) and so this place may even serve a purpose in the long term as a forum where concerns can be made public to enable those in such positions to be able to act and find easy access to the information which may help make the travel industry as a whole a safer place for us all.


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Date;7th Feb 2007

Such a pity. I am really sorry for the 121 people that have died.
It was shocking for Cypriot society.

Date;16th September 2005

We share the grief of Greek Cypriots.

Erbay Eriser
Cyprus Turkish Air Traffic Controllers Association

Date; 25th September 2005

News Article - American Air Safety Experts coming to Cyprus.

Date; 19th May 2006

On a flight on Helios airways a couple of weeks beforehand, on boarding the flight there was smoke coming from the central air conditioning vent in the ceiling. When I (being a fear of flying passenger) pointed it out, I was told it was normal.

I have never seen it before, or since, Has anyone else ? Also on a Cyprus Airways flight s short time later, I felt the cabin pressure to be so low as to almost knock me out (I have very low blood pressure anyway) I enquired as to the pressure in the cabin on disembarking, as I wanted to pass this information on to a doctor. I was told 8. Does this make sense to anyone?

Please leave any answers here. Thank you.

Date; 19th May 2006

Can anyone answer the question as to why there is no full time or national ferry to Cyprus, an Island nation, from any of the close countries, or even Greece?

The smallest Greek Island, inhabited only by a donkey and a seagull will have at least one ferry visiting it a week, so why, when the Cypriot model is supposedly the motherland Greece, does one have no choice but to fly ?

Please leave any answers here. Thank you.


US air safety experts coming to Cyprus


TWO American air safety experts will arrive on the island next week to review the workings of the civil aviation department, following a personal intervention by President Papadopoulos.

He made the surprise announcement on his return from New York where he invited the experts to come to Cyprus.

"In the USA I had the opportunity to meet representatives from the flight safety foundation and we discussed a possible mission to Cyprus, to examine the sectors, conditions of operation, expansion, job description and safety regulations of the civil aviation department."

"The first officials will come on Monday and, if possible, an agreement will be signed," Papadopoulos said.

He said that study should be complete within three weeks and that if the proposals were accepted, they would be implemented within six months.

The president said he wanted the project completed as quickly as possible and urged everyone to ensure red tape was kept to a minimum.

"I hope ministers and other state services will help in putting together an agreement without complications, or getting involved in bureaucracy, or tenders so we can complete this very important review."


Papadopoulos says he was determined to find out if the Cyprus civil aviation is up to scratch and whether any shortcomings within the department was in any way responsible for the Helios Airways crash last month.

Since the air tragedy, the government has put air safety top its agenda.


But the move has raised some criticism with detractors accusing the government hiring more experts to cover old ground that should been resolved by now.

Opposition newspaper Alithia said the president was bringing in US experts to do the same job those two British specialists were paid Θ2m to do. The paper asked what happened to British report and what has been to improve the situation, if anything.

However, government spokesman Kypros Chrysostomides said it was unfortunate that some circles were "negative" towards the president’s genuine determination to review civil aviation and get to the bottom of the Helios crash.

"The position of the President is that there should be a complete investigation into the causes of the crash and who is responsible and how the civil aviation department operates," said Chrysostomides.

He said the department was being run on recommendations made by the British experts but a further assessment needed to be made.

"There will be further evaluation of the department to ascertain whether in practice it is doing a satisfactory job and which changes are needed for a better functioning of the department.

Copyright (C) 2005   Cyprus Weekly


Verified facts of the Helios flight ZU522

Sequence of events:

Before Flight ZU522
1. The particular plane had ventilation problems on the previous night’s
inbound flight. (Comment from experts: Ventilation problems are not a rare
2. Ground engineers serviced the system and OKed it before Flight ZU522.

Flight ZU522
1. 09.07 Helios Flight ZU522 takes off from Larnaca airport.
2. 09.12 Captain starts communication with ground Engineer (GE) to report
“possible air conditioning problem with plane’s avionics”. He says the
indicator light of the system is ON. Probably there was a malfunction with
the avionics cooling system (or this was the default setting of the
indicator lamp). He asks for the location of the manual switches of the
plane’s air-conditioning and he is told “high up behind the captain’s seat”.
3. 09.14+ Communication ends.
4. During this communication the plane is between 10.000 and 14.000 ft. The
captain is not suffering from hypoxemia. He sounds perfectly all right.
5. Seconds later, at 09.15, the alarm goes off and Oxygen masks drop. (Black
box recording).
6. Plane continues to ascend. This is the fatal error that caused the crash.
7. Why did the captain not follow standard procedure to descend to 10.000 ft
and return to the airport? Most probably, he thought that he corrected the
problem by switching the system manually ON. However, he switched the whole
system OFF instead, making the problem terminally worse or causing a problem
where there was none. (This is exactly when the alarm went off and the
Oxygen masks dropped). Remember that he did not even know where the switches
were at first. Therefore, he was not familiar with them.
8. 09.24 Plane reaches cruising altitude of 34.000 ft.
9. 09.27 Captain communicates with GE again. Unintelligible, most probably
due to hypoxemia. GE asks him to put the Cypriot co-pilot on line.
Communication is terminated.
10. 09.37 Plane enters Greek airspace.
11. 10.07 Air Traffic Control is unable to communicate with aircraft.
12. 10.30 Greek ATC issues “Renegade alert”.
13. 10.55 Two F16 fighter aircraft scramble.
14. 11.20 F16s intercept aircraft (almost 2 hours after plane reaches 34.000
15. Observation 1: Plane’s windows clear.
16. Observation 2: Masks dangling in front of sitting (not slumped)
passengers. (Probably there was no decompression of the cabin at this time,
after the captain corrected his mistake with the manual switches, and the
passengers were alive and breathing normally).
17. Observation 3: Captain is not in his seat.
18. Observation 4: Co-pilot slumped on controls.
19. Observation 5: Two other people moving in cockpit trying to control the
20. Observation 6: One of these two people waves to the F16 pilots.
21. 12.05 Airplane crashes at Grammatikos (45 minutes after the F16
interception). This means that the cockpit door was open at least 45 minutes
before the crash and not after the engines ran out of fuel. Probably the
steward used the code to open the door or the captain managed to open it,
after he corrected his mistake with the manual switches and restarted the
cabin ventilation system, before he passed out. (The captain and the
co-pilot had 45% and 65% heart deficiency respectively, as recorded on their
health certificates. They probably suffered heart failure due to stress
caused by hypoxemia, with the co-pilot collapsing first. The ventilation
problem was more acute in the confined space of the cockpit than in the
cabin and further, thinking that the problem was corrected, they did not use
their Oxygen masks.)
22. Total length of flight almost 3 hours.
23. A small fire breaks out.
24. One young boy is seen alive and moving by first local visitors to the
crash scene.
25. A second bigger fire breaks out.
26. Six (6) corpses from various locations of the crash were autopsied. All
had soot in their bronchi from the fire that followed the crash. (According
to the doctors, this sample was enough to infer the condition of most of the
victims, if not ALL). Most paseengers were alive and breathing after the
crash, even if unconscious. Some, like the young boy, may have been

Choosing to ignore some of the facts, encouraged by Tsolakis’ biased report,
the relatives are raging with fury and hatred against what they call the
‘cold blooded murderers’, demanding from both God and mundane Authorities
revenge-justice for their misfortune on the ‘criminals’ that caused it.

Consequently they also fill the hearts of small children relatives with
hatred against the ‘cold blooded murderers’ that deprived them of their
loved ones. These children will never be normal again. God knows what
adverse effects this hatred will have on their whole life and their social

The protagonist in this collateral tragedy is Akrivos Tsolakis, who, moved
by inflated ego and emotionalism, took it upon himself to act as a
‘compassionate little god’ for the relatives of the victims and biased his
report accordingly. His main divine concern was to damp down the relatives’
grief by convincing them that their loved ones did not suffer excessively
but died peacefully as if in their sleep, long before the crash. Further, by
blaming the Helios Company for the accident, the relatives would stand to
benefit more in compensation money, for which they would be thankful to him.

The crash was an ACCIDENT, caused by human error on behalf of the captain.
Ventilation problems occur every day in Civil Aviation and they do not end
up in crashes. There is a standard protocol procedure to handle these
situations safely.

I am not related in any way to the Helios Company but as a friend to three
of the victims.

Jesus D Zeus




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