Crash of a Swearingen SA227AT Expediter in Luqa: 5 killed

Date & Time: Oct 24, 2016 at 0720 LT
Type of aircraft:
Operator:
Registration:
N577MX
Flight Phase:
Survivors:
No
Schedule:
Luqa - Luqa
MSN:
AT-577
YOM:
1983
Location:
Country:
Region:
Crew on board:
2
Crew fatalities:
Pax on board:
3
Pax fatalities:
Other fatalities:
Total fatalities:
5
Captain / Total flying hours:
3511
Captain / Total hours on type:
1229.00
Copilot / Total flying hours:
21806
Copilot / Total hours on type:
2304
Aircraft flight hours:
9261
Circumstances:
The aircraft was involved in a maritime patrol flight over the Mediterranean Sea, carrying a crew of two and three members of the French Ministry of Defense. Shortly after takeoff from runway 13, while in initial climb, the twin engine aircraft banked to the right, hit a perimeter fence and crashed in a huge explosion on the Triq Carmelo Caruana Street. The aircraft was destroyed by impact forces and a post crash fire. All five occupants were killed. It was previously reported that the flight was performed on behalf of the EU Frontex Program but this was later denied by the Border Agency. The presence of all three French Officers was confirmed by the French Minister of Defense Jean-Yves Le Drian. It was also confirmed by the Government of Malta that this kind of flight was performed by the French Customs since five months, an official operation of surveillance to identify human traffic and narcotics routes in the Mediterranean Sea.
Probable cause:
Investigations show that a technical malfunction was the cause of the accident. This malfunction probably originated in the specific modifications of the aircraft and in the application of an inappropriate maintenance to these modifications.
Three scenarios can be envisaged:
- rupture of the HF antenna, which then wrapped around the elevator control surface;
- inadvertent activation of the SAS, countered by the pilot;
- jamming of the elevator due to a technical failure in the flight control line.
Given the condition of the wreckage and the absence of witness reports from the crew, only a flight data recorder could have enabled the BEA-É to confirm one of these hypotheses.
However, in consideration of the factors detailed in the analysis, the hypothesis of damage to a component of the elevator control line remains the most plausible explanation.
Final Report:

Crash of a Beechcraft C-45F Expeditor near Velletri: 3 killed

Date & Time: Dec 19, 1963
Type of aircraft:
Operator:
Flight Phase:
Flight Type:
Survivors:
No
Site:
Schedule:
Luqa – Guidonia
Location:
Country:
Region:
Crew on board:
3
Crew fatalities:
Pax on board:
0
Pax fatalities:
Other fatalities:
Total fatalities:
3
Circumstances:
While approaching Velletri in marginal weather conditions, the twin engine aircraft struck the slope of Mt Artemisio. All three crew members were killed.
Crew:
Lt Col Francesco Mingolla,
Maj Mario Allegri,
Maj Vincenzo Marino.

Crash of a Handley Page H.P.67 Hastings C.2 in El Adem: 17 killed

Date & Time: Oct 10, 1961
Operator:
Registration:
WD498
Flight Phase:
Flight Type:
Survivors:
Yes
Schedule:
El Adem – Luqa
MSN:
126
YOM:
1951
Country:
Region:
Crew on board:
3
Crew fatalities:
Pax on board:
34
Pax fatalities:
Other fatalities:
Total fatalities:
17
Circumstances:
The aircraft was engaged in a flight from El Adem to Luqa, Malta, carrying 34 members of the Maltese Artillery Contingent and 3 crew members of the 70th Squadron. Shortly after rotation, while in initial climb, the aircraft stalled and banked right. Immediately, the captain elected to regain control but the airplane struck the runway surface, rotated 90° and eventually crashed and burst into flames. A crew member and 16 passengers were killed while 20 other occupants were injured, some of them seriously. The aircraft was destroyed.
Probable cause:
Investigations determined that the loss of control that occurred shortly after takeoff was caused by the movement of the safety catch located on the rails of the copilot's seat that dislodged. This caused the seat to slid on its rails back to the stop. As a result, the copilot involuntarily pull the control column, causing the aircraft to nose up and to stall due to an excessive angle of attack. It was determined that the copilot was flying when control was lost after rotation, which was non compliant as he did not have a licence allowing him to perform a takeoff with passengers on board.

Crash of a Vickers 701 Viscount in Luqa

Date & Time: Jan 5, 1960
Type of aircraft:
Operator:
Registration:
G-AMNY
Survivors:
Yes
Schedule:
London – Luqa
MSN:
6
YOM:
1953
Location:
Country:
Region:
Crew on board:
5
Crew fatalities:
Pax on board:
46
Pax fatalities:
Other fatalities:
Total fatalities:
0
Circumstances:
The Viscount was taxiing along the runway after landing when a hydraulic system pressure loss occurred. Wheel brakes and nosewheel steering were inoperative and the plane left the runway, rolling down an area of downslope. Because of the hydraulic system pressure loss an attempt by the pilot to raise the gear, failed. The aircraft came to rest against the control tower. Investigation revealed a fractured pipe line and faulty operation of a non-return valve intended to conserve pressure if there were a pressure loss in the main hydraulic system.
Source:
https://aviation-safety.net/database/record.php?id=19600105-0
Probable cause:
Failure of the hydraulic system.

Crash of a Douglas R4D-8 in Naples: 4 killed

Date & Time: Mar 31, 1959 at 1620 LT
Operator:
Registration:
17241
Flight Phase:
Flight Type:
Survivors:
Yes
Schedule:
Naples – Luqa
MSN:
43343
YOM:
1944
Location:
Country:
Region:
Crew on board:
6
Crew fatalities:
Pax on board:
14
Pax fatalities:
Other fatalities:
Total fatalities:
4
Circumstances:
After takeoff from Naples-Capodichino Airport, while climbing, the aircraft stalled and crashed in a farmland. Three passengers and one worker on the ground were killed while 17 other occupants were injured. US Navy personnel and family members were on their way to Malta.
Probable cause:
Loss of control caused by an engine failure during initial climb.

Crash of an Avro 685 York C.1 in Luqa

Date & Time: May 20, 1958
Type of aircraft:
Operator:
Registration:
G-AMUT
Flight Type:
Survivors:
Yes
Schedule:
Northolt – Luqa
MSN:
MW185
YOM:
1945
Location:
Country:
Region:
Crew on board:
3
Crew fatalities:
Pax on board:
0
Pax fatalities:
Other fatalities:
Total fatalities:
0
Circumstances:
Following a wrong approach configuration, the aircraft landed long and the touchdown was reported 1,700 feet past the runway threshold. Unable to stop within the remaining distance, the airplane overran, lost its undercarriage and came to rest after it struck a wall. All three crew members were slightly injured while the aircraft was damaged beyond repair.
Probable cause:
Wrong approach configuration on part of the crew.

Crash of an Avro 685 York C.1 in Stansted: 4 killed

Date & Time: Dec 23, 1957
Type of aircraft:
Operator:
Registration:
G-AMUN
Flight Type:
Survivors:
No
Schedule:
Luqa – Stansted
MSN:
SET55
YOM:
1947
Location:
Region:
Crew on board:
4
Crew fatalities:
Pax on board:
0
Pax fatalities:
Other fatalities:
Total fatalities:
4
Circumstances:
The crew was completing a cargo flight from Malta-Luqa to Stansted. On approach, the visibility was limited due to poor weather conditions and the captain decided to make a go around. Few minutes later, a second attempt to land was also abandoned. During a third approach, the pilot-in-command descended below the glide, apparently to establish a visual contact with the ground, when the airplane struck trees and crashed in flames 0.75 mile short of runway threshold. The airplane was destroyed and all four crew members were killed.
Probable cause:
The accident was due to an error on the part of the captain in that whilst making an attempt to land he continued the approach below the critical height without sufficient visual reference to the ground.

Crash of an Avro 685 York C.1 in Stansted: 2 killed

Date & Time: Apr 30, 1956 at 0930 LT
Type of aircraft:
Operator:
Registration:
G-AMUL
Flight Phase:
Survivors:
Yes
Schedule:
Stansted – Luqa – Habbaniya
MSN:
MW308
YOM:
1946
Location:
Region:
Crew on board:
5
Crew fatalities:
Pax on board:
49
Pax fatalities:
Other fatalities:
Total fatalities:
2
Circumstances:
The flight was to be via Malta to Habbaniya, Iraq, and was being made on charter by the Air Ministry to carry RAF personnel and their families. On board were 5 crew members, 45 passengers and four babies. The take-off run was begun at approximately 0930 hours Greenwich Mean Time. After travelling some 300 yards along the temporary runway, the aircraft developed a swing to starboard with a consequential skidding movement of the tires so severe that within a further distance of less than 100 yards it left the runway on the starboard side still under the influence of the swing, skidding and travelling at about 45 knots. On reaching a 'French' drain some 25 feet from the runway the undercarriage collapsed, the starboard wheel fell clear and the aircraft settled on its belly and on the port wheel. The aircraft finally came to rest pointing back almost in the direction from which it had begun its run. One aircraftsman and a 4-year old girl were killed and 4 other passengers were seriously injured.
Probable cause:
An over-correction of the portward course of the aircraft possibly accompanied by some application of the starboard brake caused the aircraft to swing to starboard off the runway and to encounter the "French" drain with the resulting failure of the undercarriage. The over-correction by the pilot, whether or not accompanied by some application of the starboard brake, should be termed a grave error of judgment and skill rather than a wrongful act or default.
Final Report:

Crash of an Avro 685 York C.1 in Luqa: 50 killed

Date & Time: Feb 18, 1956 at 1323 LT
Type of aircraft:
Operator:
Registration:
G-ANSY
Flight Phase:
Survivors:
No
Schedule:
Luqa – Stansted
MSN:
MW193
YOM:
1945
Location:
Country:
Region:
Crew on board:
5
Crew fatalities:
Pax on board:
45
Pax fatalities:
Other fatalities:
Total fatalities:
50
Circumstances:
The aircraft, which had arrived at Malta at 1046LT on the same day, took off from Luqa Aerodrome, Malta on a flight to Stansted, England. The aircraft became airborne about two thirds of the way down the runway and the undercarriage was retracted. About this time black smoke was seen coming from the No. 1 engine. The aircraft instead of turning to starboard as instructed by the Ground Control appeared to drift to port. The port wing dipped steeply and at 1222-23 hours the aircraft nose-dived into the ground on the cliffs near Zurrieq and blew up on impact. The crew of 5 and 45 passengers were all killed.
Probable cause:
The probable cause of the accident was the failure of No. 1 engine. However, failure alone did not cause the accident, which was caused by loss of speed and consequent loss of control through an error of judgment of the pilot.
Final Report:

Crash of a Lockheed P2V-2 Neptune MR.1 in Luqa

Date & Time: Jan 13, 1956
Type of aircraft:
Operator:
Registration:
WX547
Survivors:
Yes
Schedule:
Luqa - Luqa
MSN:
426-5163
Location:
Country:
Region:
Crew on board:
0
Crew fatalities:
Pax on board:
0
Pax fatalities:
Other fatalities:
Total fatalities:
0
Circumstances:
An undercarriage collapsed on landing at Luqa Airport. There were no injuries but the aircraft was damaged beyond repair.
Probable cause:
Undercarriage collapsed on landing.