Welcome to the SAS files. In this video, former Rhodesian SAS operator Keith Nell describes the events that happened to flight RH 825, a tragedy often referred to as “Rhodesia’s 9/11”.

Flight 825

RH 825 refers to Air Rhodesia Flight 825, which was a scheduled passenger flight shot down by the Zimbabwe People’s Revolutionary Army (ZIPRA) on September 3, 1978. The aircraft, a Vickers Viscount named “Hunyani,” was en route from Kariba to Salisbury (now Harare) in Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe) when a surface-to-air missile hit it. After the missile strike, the pilots managed to perform a controlled crash landing. However, the tragedy escalated when ZIPRA guerrillas reached the crash site and massacred 10 of the 18 survivors. In total, 38 of the 56 passengers and crew aboard were killed in the attack and the subsequent massacre.

This incident was one of the deadliest in the Rhodesian Bush War. It marked a significant escalation in the conflict, demonstrating the reach of the nationalist guerrillas beyond the battlefield to civilian targets. The downing of Flight 825, followed by the downing of another Air Rhodesia Viscount (Flight RH827) five months later, deeply shocked the Rhodesian public and international community, underscoring the brutal nature of the conflict and leading to increased security measures for Rhodesian civil aviation.

Check out this, our first in a series of videos featuring Nell as he tells the story.