|The flight, which left Larnaca, Cyprus at 09:07 local time, was en route to Athens, and was scheduled to continue to Prague. After the flight failed to contact air traffic control upon entering Greek air space, two F-16 fighter aircraft from the Hellenic Air Force 111th Combat Wing were scrambled from Nea Anchialos Air Base to establish visual contact. They noted that the aircraft appeared to be on autopilot. In accord with the rules for handling "renegade" aircraft incidents (where the aircraft is not under the pilots' control), one fighter approached to within 300 feet of the ill-fated aircraft . The fighter pilot saw that the first officer was slumped motionless on the controls, and that the captain was not in the cockpit. Oxygen masks were seen dangling in the cabin.|
Somewhat later, the F-16 pilots saw someone enter the cockpit and sit at the controls, soon to be joined by another person where the first officer had been sitting, both seemingly trying to regain control of the aircraft. Within minutes one engine, then the other ran out of fuel and the aircraft crashed into a hill, scattering wreckage and bodies and bursting into flame.
The aircraft was carrying 115 passengers and a crew of 6. The passengers included 67 due to disembark at Athens, with the remainder continuing to Prague. The bodies of 118 individuals have been recovered . The passenger list included 93 adults and 22 people under the age of 18. Cypriot nationals comprised 103 of the passengers (mostly of Greek descent and some of Armenian) and Greek nationals comprised the remaining 12