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.

Crash of an Avro 685 York C.1 in Luqa

Date & Time: Apr 13, 1954
Type of aircraft:
Operator:
Registration:
G-AMUM
Flight Phase:
Flight Type:
Survivors:
Yes
Schedule:
Luqa – Northolt
MSN:
SET65
YOM:
1947
Location:
Country:
Region:
Crew on board:
3
Crew fatalities:
Pax on board:
0
Pax fatalities:
Other fatalities:
Total fatalities:
0
Circumstances:
While taxiing, the engine number four failed to start due to a starter issue. The captain decided to increase speed, hoping to start the engine by windmilling the propeller. When the engine started, the pilot was unable to stop the aircraft in a timely manner. The airplane veered off taxiway, lost its undercarriage and came to rest against a small embankment. All three crew members were unhurt while the aircraft was damaged beyond repair.
Probable cause:
An error of judgement of the pilot, in that he failed to throttle back and apply his brakes in sufficient time to stop the aircraft from rolling forward beyond the end of the runway.

Crash of an Avro 696 Shackleton MR.2 off Gozo Island: 10 killed

Date & Time: Feb 12, 1954
Type of aircraft:
Operator:
Registration:
WL794
Flight Phase:
Flight Type:
Survivors:
No
Schedule:
Luqa - Luqa
YOM:
1953
Country:
Region:
Crew on board:
10
Crew fatalities:
Pax on board:
0
Pax fatalities:
Other fatalities:
Total fatalities:
10
Circumstances:
The crew left Luqa Airfield for a training mission consisting of an aerial attack against the submarine HMS Tudor. While completing a turn at low height, the pilot-in-command lost control of the aircraft that crashed into the sea about seven km southwest of Gozo Island, Malta. All ten crew members were killed.

Crash of a Vickers 607 Valetta C.1 near Luqa: 1 killed

Date & Time: Dec 16, 1953
Type of aircraft:
Operator:
Registration:
VX575
Flight Type:
Survivors:
Yes
Schedule:
Luqa - Luqa
YOM:
1950
Country:
Region:
Crew on board:
5
Crew fatalities:
Pax on board:
0
Pax fatalities:
Other fatalities:
Total fatalities:
1
Circumstances:
Shortly after takeoff from Luqa Airport on a local training flight, while climbing to a height of 50 feet, the right engine oversped. The pilot elected to shut down the engine and to feather the propeller but was unable to do so. The crew decided to return for a safe landing but was eventually forced to attempt an emergency landing. The aircraft crash landed in a field located 8 km north of the airport and came to rest in flames. The navigator was killed while four other crew members were injured.
Probable cause:
Technical issue on the right engine after takeoff. Propeller oversped, crew unable to feather the propeller and to shot down the engine.

Crash of an Avro 683 Lancaster BIII in Luqa

Date & Time: Sep 28, 1953
Type of aircraft:
Operator:
Registration:
RF308
Flight Phase:
Survivors:
Yes
Schedule:
Luqa - Luqa
Location:
Country:
Region:
Crew on board:
5
Crew fatalities:
Pax on board:
0
Pax fatalities:
Other fatalities:
Total fatalities:
0
Circumstances:
During the takeoff roll, the aircraft swung, lost its undercarriage and came to rest. All five crew members were unhurt while the aircraft was not repaired and struck off charge.

Crash of a Vickers 607 Valetta C.1 in Luqa: 2 killed

Date & Time: May 17, 1953
Type of aircraft:
Operator:
Registration:
VW810
Flight Phase:
Flight Type:
Survivors:
Yes
MSN:
371
YOM:
26
Location:
Country:
Region:
Crew on board:
4
Crew fatalities:
Pax on board:
18
Pax fatalities:
Other fatalities:
Total fatalities:
2
Circumstances:
Shortly after takeoff from Luqa Airfield, while in initial climb, the aircraft banked slightly to the right, apparently due to jammed ailerons. The pilot-in-command decided to land back and the aircraft touched down past the runway end, in a grassy area. To avoid any collision with the controller's caravan, the crew raised the undercarriage. The airplane slid for several yards and the left wing hit the caravan and was sheared off before the airplane came to rest in flames. Two passengers were killed while 20 others were evacuated, three of them injured.

Crash of a Vickers 607 Valetta C.1 off Agrigento: 19 killed

Date & Time: Jan 15, 1953 at 0448 LT
Type of aircraft:
Operator:
Registration:
VX562
Flight Phase:
Flight Type:
Survivors:
No
Schedule:
Luqa – Northolt
YOM:
1950
Country:
Region:
Crew on board:
3
Crew fatalities:
Pax on board:
16
Pax fatalities:
Other fatalities:
Total fatalities:
19
Circumstances:
While cruising at an altitude of 1,500 feet in low visibility due to the night and rain falls, the aircraft collided with a RAF Avro 683 Lancaster GR.3 registered TX270. En route from Luqa to Northolt, the Valetta was carrying 16 passengers and a crew of three. Following the collision, both aircraft crashed into the Mediterranean sea about 46 km southwest of Agrigento. All 26 occupants in both aircraft were killed.
Probable cause:
The court of inquiry decided that the weather conditions at the time were a factor with localized thunderstorms, heavy rain and hail and no blame could be attached to any individual. Evidence did reveal that though the Malta Flight Information Centre were not in possession of full information on the Lancaster's sortie, it was not a contributory cause.

Crash of an Avro 683 Lancaster GR.3 in Luqa: 4 killed

Date & Time: Dec 30, 1952
Type of aircraft:
Operator:
Registration:
SW344
Flight Phase:
Survivors:
Yes
Site:
Schedule:
Luqa - Luqa
Location:
Country:
Region:
Crew on board:
4
Crew fatalities:
Pax on board:
0
Pax fatalities:
Other fatalities:
Total fatalities:
4
Circumstances:
Just after liftoff from runway 06 at Luqa Airport, while in initial climb, the airplane encountered difficulties to gain height, hit several houses and eventually crashed on a neighborhood by the airport. While the captain was injured, all three other crew members were killed. Three people on the ground were seriously injured and one of them, a 60 years old lady, died from her injuries two days later on January 1st, 1953.
Crew:
F/Sgt John C. E. Smith, pilot,
F/Sgt Geoffrey Charles Glanville, copilot, †
F/Sgt John Crawford Logan, radio operator, †
F/Sgt Wilfred Morris, flight engineer. †
Probable cause:
An engine caught fire just after rotation, causing the aircraft to stall and crash during initial climb. The exact cause of the engine fire could not be determined.

Crash of a Lockheed P2V-5 Neptune in Luqa

Date & Time: Oct 8, 1952
Type of aircraft:
Operator:
Registration:
127724
Survivors:
Yes
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. The aircraft slid for several yards before coming to rest in flames. All crew members were able to evacuate the cabin and were uninjured while the airplane was destroyed by fire.
Probable cause:
Undercarriage collapsed on touchdown.

Crash of a Handley Page H.P.81 Hermes IV/A off Trapani: 7 killed

Date & Time: Aug 25, 1952 at 0300 LT
Type of aircraft:
Operator:
Registration:
G-ALDF
Flight Phase:
Survivors:
Yes
Schedule:
Blackbushe – Luqa – Khartoum
MSN:
81/7
YOM:
1950
Location:
Country:
Region:
Crew on board:
6
Crew fatalities:
Pax on board:
51
Pax fatalities:
Other fatalities:
Total fatalities:
7
Circumstances:
The aircraft, engaged on a non-scheduled flight from Blackbushe, England to Wadi Seidna, Khartoum, via Malta, took off from Blackbushe Airport at 2025LT on August 24 with 51 passengers and 6 crew. The flight was normal until 0025GMT when the aircraft reached a position about 20 miles west of Trapani. At this time, No. 2 and No. 3 engines showed signs of abnormal functioning and were deliberately shut down and the propellers feathered. Without electrical power except from the batteries which were depleted of their charge by use of the radio equipment for emergency signals, Nos. 1 and 4 engines began to show signs of abnormal functioning. At approximately 00300LT, a ditching was carried out on the sea between the Port of Trapani and the island of Formica. Four passengers were drowned and two missing, one stewardess was also missing.
Probable cause:
The probable cause of the accident lay in a failure of one or both of the two inner engines number two and three. The reason for the failure was undetermined. The contributory causes were:
- State of mind arising from the knowledge of another accident, only a short time before, to an aircraft of the same type, which was proved to have been due to power-plant failure,
- Failure of electrical generators when number two and three engines stopped,
- Batteries inadequate for ensuring normal flight functions and not even sufficient for satisfactory transmission of distress messages,
- Limited experience of the crew and of the hostesses on this type of aircraft,
- Limited training of the crew,
- Emergency procedures not properly followed, particularly by the hostesses,
- Life rafts either missing or not used,
- Failure of lifebelts.

The Commission was of the opinion that only one of the two inner engines (Nos. 2 and 3) failed of its own accord and that the stoppage and failure of the other one was caused by an error of the flight engineer.
Final Report: