Crash of a Swearingen SA227AC Metro III in Kettwig: 21 killed

Date & Time: Feb 8, 1988 at 0758 LT
Type of aircraft:
Operator:
Registration:
D-CABB
Survivors:
No
Schedule:
Hanover - Düsseldorf
MSN:
AC-500
YOM:
1982
Flight number:
NS108
Country:
Region:
Crew on board:
2
Crew fatalities:
Pax on board:
19
Pax fatalities:
Other fatalities:
Total fatalities:
21
Captain / Total flying hours:
2473
Captain / Total hours on type:
277.00
Copilot / Total flying hours:
2544
Copilot / Total hours on type:
1344
Aircraft flight hours:
9184
Circumstances:
The twin engine aircraft departed Hanover Airport at 0715LT on a schedule service to Düsseldorf Airport, carrying 19 passengers and a crew of two. Following an uneventful flight at FL140, the crew started the descent at 0739LT. After being cleared to descend to 3,000 feet, the crew was informed about thunderstorm activity in the area and ATC informed the crew about a possible alternate route to avoid the area. This offer was denied by the crew who continued the descent. While flying in thunderstorm activity, the aircraft became unstable due to turbulences and lightnings strikes near the aircraft. After the failure of the electrical system, the crew lost control of the airplane that entered a dive, partially disintegrated in the air and eventually crashed in an open field located about 2 km north of Kettwig, near the airport of Essen-Mülheim. All 21 occupants were killed.
Probable cause:
The accident was caused by the combination of the followings:
- The flight crew had continued into an area in which the occurrence of electrical discharge was to be expected, although avoiding the area would have been possible,
- The total electricity supply failed due to a lightning strike in significant instrument flight conditions, causing the failure of the cockpit- and instrument lighting and making it impossible to use the flaps and stabilizer trim,
- The plane had entered a largely uncontrolled flight after the power failure,
- The aircraft became overloaded during the uncontrolled flight aircraft during and disintegrated.
The following contributing factors were reported:
- The crew did not agree on the flight path in the area of the thunderstorm,
- The crew were not prepared for a lightning strike,
- The crew possibly became physically and mentally impaired for a short time after the lightning strike,
- The crew could not understand each other for a short time after a short power failure because they wore headsets,
- When the lightning struck, the plane was in an unstabilized flight condition with nose trimmed down and flaps half way down,
- The crew was not able to restore power, probably because of the damage in the electrical wiring,
- The crew did not have sufficient means for orientation in order to transfer the plane back from a predominantly uncontrolled flight to controlled flight.

Crash of a Beechcraft F90 King Air in Düsseldorf: 4 killed

Date & Time: Dec 6, 1987
Type of aircraft:
Operator:
Registration:
D-IMWH
Flight Type:
Survivors:
No
Schedule:
Munich - Marl
MSN:
LA-114
YOM:
1981
Country:
Region:
Crew on board:
1
Crew fatalities:
Pax on board:
3
Pax fatalities:
Other fatalities:
Total fatalities:
4
Circumstances:
While approaching Marl Airport, the pilot encountered poor weather conditions and decided to divert to Düsseldorf-Lohausen Airport. For unknown reason, the pilot was unable to locate the airport, and while initiating a go-around procedure, he lost control of the aircraft that crashed near the airport. All four occupants were killed.

Crash of a Cessna 425 Conquest I in Bern: 8 killed

Date & Time: Mar 3, 1986 at 0822 LT
Type of aircraft:
Operator:
Registration:
HB-LLS
Flight Phase:
Survivors:
No
Schedule:
Bern - Düsseldorf
MSN:
425-0040
YOM:
1981
Location:
Country:
Region:
Crew on board:
1
Crew fatalities:
Pax on board:
7
Pax fatalities:
Other fatalities:
Total fatalities:
8
Captain / Total flying hours:
1363
Captain / Total hours on type:
514.00
Aircraft flight hours:
1074
Circumstances:
The twin engine aircraft was engaged in a charter flight from Bern to Düsseldorf, carrying one pilot and seven employees from the textile industry. Takeoff was completed from runway 32 partially covered with wet snow and after liftoff, the aircraft encountered difficulties to gain height and passed just over trees located from either side of the Aar River. Then the aircraft lost height, initiated a left turn then stalled and crashed in a snow covered field located near a wood, about 1,250 meters northwest of runway 14 threshold and 600 meters to the left of its extended centerline. The aircraft was destroyed and all eight occupants were killed.
Probable cause:
The accident was the consequence of a loss of control during initial climb in poor weather conditions. The following contributing factors were reported:
- The runway was contaminated with wet snow,
- Possible ice on wings and tail,
- High drag because the gear was still down,
- The total weight of the aircraft was 102 kilos above MTOW,
- The CofG was 0,56 inch (1,42 cm) beyond the aft limit,
- The pilot suffered high psychological tension,
- It is possible that the flaps were lowered at an angle of 15° prior to takeoff, during takeoff and during initial climb, which may reduce lift and increase drag.
Final Report:

Crash of a Cessna 404 Titan in Dortmund: 1 killed

Date & Time: Jan 22, 1982
Type of aircraft:
Operator:
Registration:
D-ICRH
Flight Type:
Survivors:
No
Schedule:
Düsseldorf – Dortmund
MSN:
404-0850
YOM:
1981
Country:
Region:
Crew on board:
1
Crew fatalities:
Pax on board:
0
Pax fatalities:
Other fatalities:
Total fatalities:
1
Circumstances:
After landing at Dortmund-Wickede Airport, the pilot lost control of the airplane that veered off runway and collided with a hangar, bursting into flames. The aircraft as well a four other airplanes parked in the hangar were destroyed by a post crash fire. The pilot, sole on board, was killed. He was completing a positioning flight from Düsseldorf.

Crash of a Douglas C-54A-1-DO Skymaster in Düsseldorf: 7 killed

Date & Time: Nov 3, 1957 at 0703 LT
Type of aircraft:
Operator:
Registration:
D-ALAF
Flight Phase:
Flight Type:
Survivors:
Yes
Schedule:
Düsseldorf – Reykjavik – New York
MSN:
7459
YOM:
1944
Country:
Region:
Crew on board:
7
Crew fatalities:
Pax on board:
3
Pax fatalities:
Other fatalities:
Total fatalities:
7
Circumstances:
The flight was to be from Dusseldorf, Germany, to New York via Reykjavik. One crew was to pilot the first leg of the trip to Reykjavik and the relief crew was to complete the flight to New York. Of the ten aboard the aircraft, seven were crew and three were passengers. Take-off from Dusseldorf at 0700 hours was normal until the aircraft became airborne. Immediately after becoming airborne and following retraction of the gear No. 1 engine was cut off and its propeller feathered. Then the No. 2 engine was also cut off and its propeller feathered. During this process the flaps were immediately and fully retracted. The aircraft, having attained an altitude of 50 metres, dropped sharply, lost altitude and crashed (0703 hours) into buildings within the city limits killing six of the occupants instantly and seriously injuring the other four. In addition, one person on the ground was killed and two others seriously injured. The wreckage was completely destroyed by fire.
Probable cause:
The accident was caused by the intentional creation of an emergency situation on take-off for a long distance flight: first No. 1 engine was cut off and its propeller feathered, then No. 2 engine was also stopped and its propeller feathered. In addition, the flaps were immediately and fully retracted at low altitude. Such action by the pilot-in-command during take-off immediately after the aircraft became airborne, with a view to testing a crew member, caused the aircraft to crash. The piloting technique was not consistent with the safety requirements and operating instructions as prescribed by the Directorate of Civil Aviation.
Final Report:

Crash of an Avro 652 Anson C.19 in Dahlhausen: 2 killed

Date & Time: Mar 4, 1956
Type of aircraft:
Operator:
Registration:
TX203
Flight Phase:
Flight Type:
Survivors:
Yes
Schedule:
Wunstorf – Düsseldorf
Country:
Region:
Crew on board:
2
Crew fatalities:
Pax on board:
2
Pax fatalities:
Other fatalities:
Total fatalities:
2
Circumstances:
The aircraft was engaged in an ambulance flight from Wünstorf Airbase to Düsseldorf, carrying two pilots and two doctors. En route, while cruising at an altitude of 4,000 feet, the right engine suffered an oil leak and was shut down by the crew. As he was unable to maintain a safe altitude, the captain decided to attempt an emergency landing. After it crossed the last cloud layer, the twin engine aircraft was facing a large wooded area. Shortly later, it struck trees and crashed in the forest. Both pilots were injured while both doctors were killed.
Crew:
F/Sgt T. E. Went,
Sgt J. Moynaham.
Passengers:
F/O Daphne Jane Budgeon,
Sac Robert William Flint.
Probable cause:
Failure of the right engine following an oil leak in flight.

Crash of a Douglas C-47B-35-DK in Düsseldorf: 3 killed

Date & Time: Dec 22, 1955
Operator:
Registration:
G-AMZC
Flight Type:
Survivors:
No
Schedule:
Douglas - Düsseldorf
MSN:
16522/33270
YOM:
1945
Country:
Region:
Crew on board:
3
Crew fatalities:
Pax on board:
0
Pax fatalities:
Other fatalities:
Total fatalities:
3
Circumstances:
The crew was completing a positioning flight from Douglas, Isle of Man, to Düsseldorf to pick up passengers. While descending to Lohausen Airport, the crew received the permission to perform an ILS approach but for unknown reason, the captain preferred to make a visual approach despite the low visibility caused by marginal weather conditions. On final, the airplane was too low, hit trees and crashed 5 km short of runway. All three crew members were killed.
Probable cause:
Wrong approach configuration on part of the flying pilot who continued the descent without sufficient visual reference, causing the aircraft to pass below the glide in low visibility conditions.

Crash of an Airspeed AS.57 Ambassador 2 in Düsseldorf

Date & Time: Apr 8, 1955
Type of aircraft:
Operator:
Registration:
G-AMAB
Flight Phase:
Survivors:
Yes
Schedule:
Düsseldorf – London
MSN:
5224
YOM:
1951
Country:
Region:
Crew on board:
6
Crew fatalities:
Pax on board:
47
Pax fatalities:
Other fatalities:
Total fatalities:
0
Circumstances:
About six minutes after takeoff from Düsseldorf-Lohausen Airport, while in initial climb, the crew reported engine problems and received the permission to return. At this time, it appears that the left engine went into reverse. After completing a circuit, the pilot continued the approach at low height and in poor weather conditions when high tension wires forced him to gain height. He increased power on the right engine but the aircraft stalled and hit the ground with its left wing that was severely bent and partially sheared off. Upon impact, the left engine was sheared off and the airplane came to rest in a muddy field located few km from the airport. All 53 occupants were evacuated and only the crew was slightly injured. The aircraft was written off.
Probable cause:
It was determined that the accident was due to:
- the propeller of the left-hand engine going into brake position during climb. The technical reason for this occurrence so far has not been found,
- the weather which made the approach rather difficult. In good weather conditions the landing would probably have been successful.