Date & Time: Nov 13, 1984 at 1841 LT
Dublin - Paris
Crew on board:
Pax on board:
Captain / Total hours on type:
Aircraft flight hours:
The aircraft was flying from Dublin to Paris (Le Bourget) at a height of 25,000 feet. In the area of Petersfield, Hampshire, the aircraft began a gentle turn to the left from a south easterly heading. After the radar controller queried the departure from the expected heading the commander reported that the autopilot had 'dropped out', and the south easterly heading was resumed. Approximately 7 minutes later, the radar recording shows that the aircraft again began to turn left and started to lose height. After the aircraft had reached a northerly heading it began to lose height rapidly following which secondary radar returns were lost and the primary returns became fragmented before they also disappeared. The aircraft suffered an in-flight disintegration at approximately 19,000 feet and all 9 occupants were killed. A positive cause of the accident was not determined but there was evidence that a part of the aircraft's electrical supply had been lost. This would have caused the autopilot to disengage and also have resulted in the failure of the commander's flight director indicator. It was concluded that, following the disengagement of the autopilot, the aircraft probably entered a steep spiral dive and that the disintegration of the aircraft occurred as recovery was attempted.
The in-flight disintegration of the aircraft was probably caused by over-stressing during an attempted recovery from an extreme attitude in a spiral dive. A probable contributory factor was the commander's lack of awareness of the loss of the 26 volt AC supply to the autopilot and flight director system.