Date & Time:
Mar 17, 1955 at 1427 LT
Johannesburg – Salisbury
The aircraft departed Jan Smuts Airport at 1115LT on a scheduled flight to Belvedere Airport, Salisbury, under VFR conditions, carrying 23 passengers and a crew of 5. At 1427LT, while approaching runway 27 from the east on final approach during a thunderstorm, the undercarriage struck the ground a short distance to the north and east of the threshold of runway 27, causing the starboard tire to burst, the starboard leg of the undercarriage to break and the starboard propeller engine to be severely damaged. The pilot endeavored to undertake overshoot procedure but as the starboard engine and propeller could not deliver power and the aircraft was at a speed below the minimum required for effective control, he was obliged to make a crash landing. No one was injured but the aircraft was extensively damaged.
The accident was caused not by mechanical defect of the aircraft nor by the conduct of the pilot but by a combination of unusual and unexpected circumstances . Had the sudden downpour of rain not taken place at the critical moment, it is almost certain that no accident would have occurred.