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Crash of an Airspeed AS.57 Ambassador 2 in Beauvais

Date & Time: Apr 14, 1966
Type of aircraft:
Operator:
Registration:
G-ALZX
Survivors:
Yes
Schedule:
London - Beauvais
MSN:
5220
YOM:
1951
Location:
Country:
Region:
Crew on board:
4
Crew fatalities:
Pax on board:
55
Pax fatalities:
Other fatalities:
Total fatalities:
0
Circumstances:
On final approach to Beauvais-Tillé Airport, the aircraft was too high on the glide after it broke out from the clouds. Rather than making a go around procedure, the crew continued the approach but landed too far down the runway 13. Unable to stop within the remaining distance of 3,500 feet, the airplane overran, lost its left main gear and nose gear and came to rest against a mount of earth. At the time of the accident, the runway surface was wet, which was considered as a contributing factor.
Probable cause:
Wrong approach configuration on part of the flying crew.

Crash of a Douglas C-47B-25-DK in Mers-les-Bains

Date & Time: Dec 17, 1965 at 2340 LT
Operator:
Registration:
G-AMWX
Survivors:
Yes
Schedule:
Beauvais – London-Gatwick
MSN:
15846/32594
YOM:
1945
Flight number:
SX316
Country:
Region:
Crew on board:
3
Crew fatalities:
Pax on board:
29
Pax fatalities:
Other fatalities:
Total fatalities:
0
Captain / Total flying hours:
12548
Captain / Total hours on type:
4000.00
Copilot / Total flying hours:
1820
Copilot / Total hours on type:
250
Aircraft flight hours:
12815
Circumstances:
Flight 316 was a scheduled international flight from Beauvais, France to Gatwick, England. It took off from runway 23 at Beauvais at 1948 hours GMT. At 2009 hours it contacted London Airways reporting over Abbeville, with an estimated time of arrival at the Paris/London FIR boundary of 2020 hours. At 2030 hours at the request of London Airways the aircraft reported 2036 as its estimated time of arrival at Lydd, whereas taking the wind into account it should have been 2040 hours. In fact the aircraft reported over Lydd at 2040 hours and, on the basis of the radar observations of London Airport which followed the aircraft from 2036 hours onwards, the aircraft probably flew over this point at 2041 hours or 2042 hours. At 2040 hours the aircraft reported its estimated time of arrival at Mayfield as 2058 hours, a dead reckoning calculation which this time allowed for the wind. At 2040 hours London Airways asked the flight to confirm its estimated time of arrival at Mayfield. It was when the co-pilot began the VHF transmission to reply to this query that he first noticed that his transmitter was not working, then that the No. 2 VHF, the ILS receiver, the radio compasses, the starboard generator and the two inverters had also failed. The aircraft lighting, however, was still working. The pilot-in-command handed over the controls to the co-pilot and went to inspect the main electrical panel. As he did not have the necessary tools, he was unable to remove the main radio fuse in order to inspect it. He checked the circuit breakers on the radio electrical panel and found that they were in the normal position. He also noted that the inverters were no longer working. On returning to his seat he asked the co-pilot to make the same checks. The co-pilot changed some fuses but he also was unable to remove the main fuse which he found was very hot. As he had no means of radio communication or navigation, the pilot-in-command considered that he could not continue on his route to Gatwick without incurring a collision risk and, more particularly, that it would be dangerous for him to try to descend to within visual reference of the ground, in view of the cloud bases of 120 to 200 m in the meteorological forecasts. He therefore decided to turn on to a southerly heading in order to descend below cloud over the sea and then to determine his position by identifying a town on the south coast of England. At 2053 hours, London Radar observed the left-hand turn of approximately 90' made by the aircraft. According to the pilot-in-command, the aircraft maintained a magnetic heading of 2000 for 15 minutes, which corresponds to a true track of 1710. At about 2108 hours the aircraft, which was then about 20 miles from the English coast south of Hastings, went on to an easterly heading and came down to 2 000 ft using the Beauvais QNH (1 012 mbs). After flying for 5 minutes on this heading, the pilot-in-command was still without any visual contact with the ground and he returned to a southerly heading, considering that the cloud base over France would be appreciably higher than over England. He came down to 1 000 ft and finally saw the lights of a ship and then the lights of a town (Le Tréport) which he failed to identify. The aircraft arrived in the vicinity of Le Tréport at 2140 hours. After flying over the town a number of times the crew fired Very lights but saw no response on the ground, although local authorities and members of the aero club went to En-Mers/Le Tréport airport and illuminated the landing strip with car headlights. During this time the pilot-in-command saw a beach lit up by the lights of a promenade and suitably orientated for a landing, taking into account the direction of the wind at the time. The pilot-in-command then decided that unless he could determine his position with certainty and therefore be able to reach Beauvais in absolute safety, it was preferable to attempt an emergency landing on such a beach rather than run the risk of landing, short of fuel, in the open in the French countryside without any visual reference to the ground and with the danger of colliding with some unknown obstruction. After having flown up and down the coast, in an attempt to determine his position, he finally decided to land when the starboard engine showed signs of fuel failure. He immediately switched the starboard engine on to the port main tank, which contained about 20 gallons more than the starboard main tank. He made his last circuit at about 500 ft, with the landing lights on and the undercarriage up, and came in to land on a WSW heading in the area lit up by the promenade lighting, as near as possible to the shore. The landing was relatively soft, although at the end of the run the port wing tip struck a concrete groyne. The accident occurred at 2240 hours GMT. The location of the beach was 50° 04 N 01° 23 E. All 33 occupants were evacuated and five of them were slightly injured.
Probable cause:
The accident was due to the following causes:
(a) The design of the aircraft's electrical installation in which no provision was made to prevent the total interruption of radio communication and radio navigation in the event of a failure at the level of the single main supply fuse.
(b) The failure of the main supply fuse probably of insufficient rating and the fact that the crew was not able to rectify the failure.
(c) The inadequate attention paid by the crew to its dead reckoning navigation, both before and after the radio failure.
Final Report:

Crash of an Avro 748-1-101 in Lympne

Date & Time: Jul 11, 1965 at 1633 LT
Type of aircraft:
Operator:
Registration:
G-ARMV
Survivors:
Yes
Schedule:
Beauvais – Lympne
MSN:
1536
YOM:
1961
Location:
Region:
Crew on board:
4
Crew fatalities:
Pax on board:
48
Pax fatalities:
Other fatalities:
Total fatalities:
0
Captain / Total flying hours:
6799
Captain / Total hours on type:
1096.00
Copilot / Total flying hours:
980
Copilot / Total hours on type:
192
Aircraft flight hours:
3432
Circumstances:
The aircraft was on a scheduled flight from Beauvais, France to Lympne, England. Before taking off the pilot-in-command obtained a weather report from Lympne as follows: Cloud ceiling : 250 ft . Visibility : 2000 m . Surface wind : 220 degrees at 18 kts. It departed Beauvais at 15:51 hours UTC on an IFR flight plan. As the aircraft passed Abbeville, radio contact was established with Lympne and a weather report was obtained which gave a visibility of 1000 m in drizzle, cloud ceiling of 250 ft and surface wind 220/18 kts gusting to 26 kts. The airline's limits for landing on runway 20 were 1100 m RVR and a cloud ceiling of 200 ft. The pilot-in-command again checked landing conditions at Lympne before commencing an instrument approach and, although conditions had not altered significantly since the previous report, he was informed of a "slight improvement" but the wind was still gusting. The final instrument approach to runway 20 using radar began at 4 miles from touchdown; the aircraft was in cloud, flying at 1100 ft, in turbulent conditions. Three and a half miles from touchdown the pilot-in-command began to descend at 350 to 400 ft/min, the equivalent of a 3° glide path in the prevailing conditions. As there was no radar glide path the Lympne radar controller advised the pilots of the height at which the aircraft should have been at each mile before touchdown. When the aircraft was about 5/8 of a mile from touchdown the radar controller gave a final heading correction and at half a mile, when the talkdown finished, he told the pilots that the aircraft was lined up with the right-hand edge of the runway. The rest of the approach was made visually but the radar controller continued to track the aircraft. He observed it deviate further to the right of the extended centre line as it neared the touchdown point. The pilot-in-command stated that he could see the ground from 250 ft, and at 220ft when half a mile from touchdown he could see the far boundary of the aerodrome through heavy drizzle. Height was maintained at 220 ft for 3 or 4 seconds, then the descent was resumed and at a quarter of a mile from touchdown and at 150 to 200 ft, full flap was selected and power reduced to 10600 rpm. At this stage turbulence became severe. The pilot-in-command realized that the aircraft was going to the right of the runway but he decided not to try to regain the centre line as this would require a turn at low altitude. As the aircraft approached the aerodrome boundary the airspeed indicator was fluctuating and an attempt was made to maintain 92 kts the starboard wing was held down slightly to compensate for port drift. The pilot-in-command stated that he began the flare-out 30 to 40 ft above the ground at an IAS of 88 kt but as he closed the throttles the starboard wing went down suddenly. Although he was aware that the aircraft was descending rapidly, he was initially more concerned about restoring lateral level ; only at the last moment did he attempt to check the rate of descent with elevator control but the aircraft struck the ground heavily on its starboard undercarriage. After the impact, the starboard wing, engine nacelle and undercarriage became separated from the main structure, the aircraft rolled over to starboard and slid along the grass inverted, coming to rest after having swung through approximately 180°.
Probable cause:
A heavy landing following an incomplete flare from a steeper than normal approach.
Final Report:

Crash of a Farman F.306 in Brémontier: 1 killed

Date & Time: Apr 1, 1935 at 0045 LT
Type of aircraft:
Operator:
Registration:
F-ALHQ
Flight Phase:
Flight Type:
Survivors:
Yes
Schedule:
Paris - London
MSN:
7243.2
YOM:
1931
Location:
Country:
Region:
Crew on board:
2
Crew fatalities:
Pax on board:
1
Pax fatalities:
Other fatalities:
Total fatalities:
1
Captain / Total flying hours:
8000
Circumstances:
Aircraft left Paris-Le Bourget Airport at 0030LT on this inaugural night mail flight to London with one pilot, one radio navigator and one passenger on board. Few minutes after departure, while cruising in low visibility due to fog, crew decided to return to Paris. The Aircraft hit a tree and crashed in an open field located in Brémontier, near Beauvais. All three occupants were seriously injured but the pilot, Robert Bajac, died few hours later.
Crew:
Robert Bajac, Air France Chief Pilot,
Jean Floret, radio navigator.
Passenger:
Mr. Flitcroft, Air France Chief of Operations.
Probable cause:
One year after the accident, the French commission headed by General de Goÿs concluded that the crash was not caused by a crew mistake but by the aircraft which was hard to manage and unstable in flight. This commission also said that French Authorities gave permission to Air France to operate this aircraft despite its known technical deficiencies.

Crash of a Lioré-et-Olivier LeO H-213 in Beauvais

Date & Time: Nov 16, 1933 at 0900 LT
Operator:
Registration:
F-AIFD
Flight Phase:
Flight Type:
Survivors:
Yes
Site:
Schedule:
Paris – Croydon
MSN:
01
YOM:
1926
Location:
Country:
Region:
Crew on board:
2
Crew fatalities:
Pax on board:
0
Pax fatalities:
Other fatalities:
Total fatalities:
0
Circumstances:
Crew left Paris-Le Bourget Airport at 0840LT on a mail flight to Croydon. Twenty minutes later, while cruising at an altitude of 1,000 metres, aircraft suffered a fire on left engine. Crew decided to bail out and abandoned the aircraft that stalled, hit an electricity pole and a factory and crashed in flames in a small river. Both pilots were unhurt while the aircraft was destroyed by impact forces and post crash fire. All mail, more than one ton, was also destroyed.
Probable cause:
Left engine fire.