Zone

Very hard landing of a Boeing 737-4Q8 in Exeter

Date & Time: Jan 19, 2021 at 0234 LT
Type of aircraft:
Operator:
Registration:
G-JMCY
Flight Type:
Survivors:
Yes
Schedule:
East Midlands – Exeter
MSN:
25114/2666
YOM:
1994
Flight number:
NPT05L
Location:
Region:
Crew on board:
2
Crew fatalities:
Pax on board:
0
Pax fatalities:
Other fatalities:
Total fatalities:
0
Circumstances:
The crew departed East Midlands Airport on a night cargo flight to Exeter on behalf of the Royal Mail. For unknown reasons, the aircraft landed hard at Exeter Airport runway 29. The crew was able to vacate the runway and park the aircraft on apron where major damages to the fuselage were noted. Due to the extent of damages, the cargo could not be unloaded. The aircraft seems to be damaged beyond repair.

Crash of a Short 330-300 in Liverpool

Date & Time: Jan 3, 1997 at 0042 LT
Type of aircraft:
Operator:
Registration:
G-ZAPC
Flight Type:
Survivors:
Yes
Schedule:
Exeter - East Midlands
MSN:
3023
YOM:
1978
Region:
Crew on board:
2
Crew fatalities:
Pax on board:
1
Pax fatalities:
Other fatalities:
Total fatalities:
0
Captain / Total flying hours:
3015
Captain / Total hours on type:
900.00
Circumstances:
The aircraft departed Exeter at 2237 hrs where the weather was fair with scattered cloud at 1500 feet. After climbing uneventfully through cloud to FL 90 the aircraft cruisedin clear, smooth air. In the cruise the co-pilot noticed that his vertical speed indicator was displaying a slight rate of climb although the aircraft was in level flight but this and a spurious hydraulic warning were the only anomalies. As the aircraft approached East Midlands airport the runway visual range there was below the approach minima and several aircraft were holding awaiting an improvement in the visibility. G-ZAPC descended to 2,500 ft and held in clear air over the Lichfield NDB for about 45 minutes until the fuel state dictated a diversion to Liverpool. On diversion the aircraft was initially cleared direct to the Whitegate NDB and then Wallasey VOR at FL 40. At this level the crew could see ground features in good visibility until they entered cloudas they descended through 3,500 feet whilst being radar vectored for an approach to Liverpool Airport. The cloud was stratiform in character and did not appear to contain precipitation or significant turbulence. At Liverpool airport the cloud base was 6/8at 1,100 feet, the visibility 12 km, the air temperature +1°Cand the surface wind was 060°/8 kt. There is an ILS localiser on Runway 09 but no glidepath transmitter so a LOC DME approach is normally flown. Although the DME antenna is mid-way along the runway, the DMErange is set to read zero at the runway displaced threshold. The pilot flies the localiser in azimuth and adjusts his height according to his pressure altimeter; the 3° glidepath commences at 1,610 feet QNH from 5 nm DME with check heights at 4, 3, 2 and 1 nm DME. On the north side of the runway 329 metres from the threshold there are 4 PAPI (Precision Approach Path Indicator)lights which are set to a glidepath of 3°. During the approach to Runway 09 at Liverpool all the anti-icing services were switched on and operating except for the wing de-icing boots which, having seen no ice on the wings,the commander decided not to employ, and the ice detector which he considered unreliable. The approach proceeded normally andthe aircraft descended out of cloud at about 1,100 feet having been in cloud for about 10 minutes. When the commander viewed the PAPIs at 1 DME"all four lights had a pink tinge". Thinking he might be slightly low relative to the approach glidepath, he asked the co-pilot to specify the correct height at 1 DME which was 410feet. At the time the commander's pressure altimeter, which was set to the QNH of 1019 mb, indicated that the aircraft was slightly high and so he made a small correction to the flight path which resulted in three red PAPI lights and one white light. The commander also decided to touch down slightly beyond the runway identifier numbers which are a few metres beyond the 'piano keys' that identify the threshold. The aircraft was cleared to land with a wind of "Easterly at 10 kt" and on short finals the commander asked for full flap. He then allowed the speed to bleed back from the approach speed of between 110 and 120 KIAS towards the threshold speed of 90 KIAS without moving the throttles from their approach power setting. According to both crew members and the passenger who was seated in the 'jump seat', the aircraft crossed over the end of runway at between 88 and 90 KIAS. Some 20 to 30 feet above the runway the commander noticed that the flight controls felt 'sloppy' as if the aircraft's speed was unusually low but there was no hint of a stall warning or stick shaker activation. At much the same time all three persons on board felt the aircraft sink rapidly; the commander pulled back on the control column but he was unable to arrest the high rate of descent and the aircraft struck the runway very hard. The right wing dropped as the right main gear collapsed and the aircraft veered to the right off the runway onto the grass. The ground was frozen hard and the aircraft came to a halt without incurring further significant damage. The crew informed ATC that they were unhurt before securing the aircraft whilst ATC activated the airport's emergency services. On leaving the aircraft the commander inspected the wings for ice accretion. He noticed a thin layer of clear,watery ice along the leading edges across the pneumatic de-icing boots from top to bottom. The ice layer could be wiped off with one finger and was no more than one eight of an inch thick. Throughout the flight there had been no visible signs of ice accretion on the wings or the windscreen wiper. Consequently, the commander had not increased the threshold speed to compensate for ice accretion.
Probable cause:
From the available evidence it appears probable that the aircraft developed a high rate of descent from a height of 20 to 30 feet above the runway without producing a stall warning. The following causal factors were considered: wind shear; wake turbulence; pitot-static system errors; low airspeed during the final stages of the approach; and significant ice accretion on the airframe. Wind shear was discounted because numerous wind readings showed the normal slight variation in direction but a consistent wind speed, and there were no obstacles such as hangars upwind of the threshold. Wake turbulence was discounted because the preceding aircraft had landed 19 minutes before GZAPC. The pitot-static systems were checked to be leak free and all relevant instruments were shown to be accurate. It was also established that all pitot head, static plate and stall warning heaters were serviceable. A favourable comparison of the approach profile with those of the preceding four aircraft indicated that there was no evidence of static pressure errors. The calculated airspeeds from radar were consistent with thespeeds reported by the crew for the initial approach suggesting that itot errors were not significant. Thus, unless icing, for example, had affected these systems at a late stage of the approach,erroneous instrument readings were considered unlikely. The final approach was flown at about the correct airspeed but there was a trend within the radar data,for the last mile of the approach, for the airspeed to reduce towards the stalling speed. However the data was too coarse to provide exact speeds and the stall warning system did not activate. The likelihood of significant airframe icing was discounted for several reasons including: the commander's statement; photographs taken of the aircraft shortly after the accident which showed no signs of significant ice accretion; no lumps of ice were found on the runway; and the airframe was icefree when examined by the AAIB despite overnight sub-zero temperatures. There was, therefore, no positive conclusion as to the cause and it remains a possibility that some or all of the above factors, to a small extent, may have combined to produce a high rate of descent while the aircraft was some 20to 30 feet above the runway.
Final Report:

Crash of a Cessna T303 Crusader in The Channel

Date & Time: May 1, 1992 at 1754 LT
Type of aircraft:
Operator:
Registration:
G-BPZV
Flight Phase:
Flight Type:
Survivors:
Yes
Schedule:
Exeter - Guernsey
MSN:
303-00006
YOM:
1981
Country:
Region:
Crew on board:
1
Crew fatalities:
Pax on board:
1
Pax fatalities:
Other fatalities:
Total fatalities:
0
Captain / Total flying hours:
756
Captain / Total hours on type:
77.00
Circumstances:
The aircraft had departed Exeter on a flight to Guernsey when, during the climb to FL35, a slight smell of fumed was noticed in the cockpit. By the time the aircraft had passed SKERRY, by some four to five nm, smoke was seen coming from under the right hand instrument panel. The pilot asked the passenger to investigate the source, but he reported that he could see no burning. The pilot then informed Jersey control of their situation and advised that he was returning direct to Start Point, the nearest land on the coast. After changing to Exeter Radar, the pilot initiated a descent in case an immediate ditching should prove necessary, and briefed his passenger to don a life-jacket. He also directed the passenger to sit at the rear of the cabin, adjacent to the door, so that he would be ready to deploy the life-raft through the upper half of the door if they had to ditch. As the density of the smoke and fumes increased, the pilot elected to carry out a controlled ditching, fearing that if he tried to reach the coast he would be overcome by the fumes. However, he stated that he was reluctant to open the cabin air vents in case this escalated any hidden fire, and he did not turn off the master switch since he required the radios to maintain contact with Exeter Radar. The pilot transmitted a Mayday call, giving a full position report, and at 200 feet amsl he shut down both engines and feathered the propellers. He estimated the sea-well was between eight and ten feet but, since a strong wind was blowing (20 knots), he decided to land into-wind. The aircraft contacted the water at approximately 70 knots, plunging into a swell which generated an impact which the pilot later described as 'tremendous'.The aircraft, however, floated for some one and a half minutes before sinking, enabling both occupants to safely escape from the rear door. The pilot reported that, once in the water, it took them an estimated 20 minutes to get the life-raft inflated, but their life-jackets provided adequate support during this period. Although the pilot advised that flares and a handheld radio were being carried on board the aircraft, these were lost during the ditching. After approximately 45 minutes, an SAR helicopter from RAF Chivenor arrived on scene, recovered both survivors, and took them to hospital in Exeter. The pilot, who was wearing a lap and diagonal restraint, and the passenger, who was wearing only a lap strap, were largely uninjured.
Probable cause:
Since the aircraft was not recovered, it was not possible to establish the source of the smoke which issued from below the right instrument panel.
Final Report:

Crash of a Cessna 340A in Somerford

Date & Time: May 4, 1987 at 1516 LT
Type of aircraft:
Operator:
Registration:
G-FBDC
Flight Type:
Survivors:
Yes
Schedule:
Jersey – Exeter – Somerford
MSN:
340A-0442
YOM:
1978
Region:
Crew on board:
1
Crew fatalities:
Pax on board:
3
Pax fatalities:
Other fatalities:
Total fatalities:
0
Captain / Total flying hours:
3121
Captain / Total hours on type:
444.00
Circumstances:
Following an uneventful flight from Jersey, with an intermediate landing at Exeter, the aircraft made a left circuit at Somerford onto a 1 mile final approach to runway 36. Somerford is an 800 metre by 21 metre grass runway, bounded by a belt of 50-60 feet high trees at the southern end of the runway with a field of soft ground on the west side. The wind was 330°/13 kts and the temperature was 12°C. As the aircraft crossed the trees, at normal approach speed and rate of descent, the pilot reduced power for the landing and the aircraft suddenly dropped to the ground at the runway threshold. The left main gear separated at impact and when the wingtip struck, the aircraft swung to the left into the soft ground, causing the right gear to collapse. All the occupants' diagonal upper torso restraints held on impact and the crew and passengers left the aircraft via the normal exits.
Final Report:

Crash of a Vickers Viscount in Exeter

Date & Time: Jul 17, 1980 at 1953 LT
Type of aircraft:
Registration:
G-ARBY
Survivors:
Yes
Schedule:
Santander - Exeter
MSN:
10
YOM:
1953
Location:
Region:
Crew on board:
4
Crew fatalities:
Pax on board:
58
Pax fatalities:
Other fatalities:
Total fatalities:
0
Captain / Total flying hours:
14487
Captain / Total hours on type:
1540.00
Copilot / Total flying hours:
3895
Copilot / Total hours on type:
1022
Aircraft flight hours:
35121
Circumstances:
The Vickers Viscount aircraft was engaged upon a passenger charter flight from Santander (SDR), Spain to Exeter (EXT). The aircraft arrived at Santander 8 minutes ahead of schedule, at 16:22. The aircraft commander recorded in the Technical Log a fuel state on shut down of 3178 litres and ordered a total fuel load of 5902 litres for the return flight, that is 454 litres less than the figure for full tanks. Whilst the aircraft commander was with the handling agents, the co-pilot supervised the refuelling. He requested a total uplift of 2720 litres and wrote the figures down, showing them to the senior of the two operators of the refuelling vehicle, which was not the one that had refuelled the aircraft on its earlier flight that day. On this previous flight, intermittent contact at the external electrical supply socket caused the aircraft's refuelling valve to open and close intermittently, interrupting the refuelling process. The refuelling was therefore completed using electrical power from the aircraft batteries. With the aircraft obtaining its electrical power from the same ground power unit as before apparently quite satisfactorily, the operators then refuelled the two sides of the aircraft one after the other, using the same hose each time. When the refueller finished pumping, its indicators recorded a total delivery of 2720 litres and the co-pilot, who had watched the operation, checked the figures and signed the delivery note accordingly. Neither pilot made a physical check of the aircraft's tanks using the dripsticks. Both fuel contents gauges had a history of defects. A recurrent problem in the port fuel gauge was recorded in the Technical Log as a deferred defect, expressed as 'port fuel contents gauge fluctuating occasionally, ie full scale deflection; rectification being carried forward until the next check'. The starboard gauge also had a defect. The aircraft commander did not draw the co-pilot's attention to this entry, who remained unaware of it. Before starting engines the pilots again set the flow meter totals at zero. The aircraft left Santander at 17:33 and was shortly afterwards cleared to its planned cruising level of Flight Level 180. The planned flight time was 2 hours and 9 minutes, with an expected fuel consumption of 3375 litres, leaving a reserve of 2527 litres. At 18:46 the aircraft passed over Nantes. The flow meters then indicated that 1964 litres had been consumed, which was exactly according to the navigation plan and the crew therefore recorded that at that moment 3320 kg (4150 litres) remained in the aircraft tanks. At approximately 19:10 whilst in the area of Dinard, the fuel contents gauges began to cause them some concern. The port gauge, with various fluctuations, occasionally fell to zero, but sometimes read full. The starboard gauge gave a reading equivalent to 500 litres and continued to fall steadily as the flight progressed. The pilots reviewed the fuel situation and although uneasy, considered that in the light of the recorded uplift and the totals on the flow meters, that they must have ample fuel on board. As the aircraft approached Guernsey the aircraft commander considered diverting there in order to take on more fuel, but after further thought decided against this action. At 19:28 when the aircraft was between Guernsey and Berry Head, it received initial descent clearance and shortly afterwards was further cleared to Flight Level 40 on a direct track for the Exeter NDB. At 19:42 the crew changed frequency to Exeter approach and started to receive radar positioning for runway 26. The cloud was given as one okta at 700 feet, 5 oktas at 1000 feet, and 7 oktas at 2500 feet, with a visibility of 13 kilometres and a surface wind of 280 degrees at 7 knots. At 19:44 the crew performed the approach checks, which included selecting flap to 20 degrees and switching on the fuel heaters. As fuel heat was selected, there was momentary flash from one of the two low pressure warning lights and after a brief discussion the crew opened the fuel crossfeed cocks, which had been closed since their pre-flight checks at Exeter. At 19:50 the aircraft was at 2000 feet QFE, just below cloud and about 8 miles from touchdown. The flap was still at 20 degrees and the undercarriage was retracted. Suddenly both low pressure fuel warning lights illuminated and in rapid succession all four engines lost power. The aircraft commander made an immediate Mayday call to Exeter and at the same time gave a warning on the passenger address system. Knowing the local terrain, the commander turned left in the best hope of finding a suitable area for a forced landing. With the flap still set at 20 degrees, the aircraft descended on a heading of approximately 190 degrees (magnetic) along a small grassy valley studded with trees, the average elevation of which was 130 feet amsl. As the aircraft crossed the boundary of the field, the port wing struck a tree, damaging the underskin and removing the mid section of the port flap. It then touched down with the nose well up, with the stall warning in operation and the control column hard back. The rear of the fuselage struck the ground first and almost simultaneously the port wing struck a tree causing a noticeable yaw to the left as the nose pitched down. Without hitting any further obstruction the aircraft came to rest after 307 metres on a heading of 074 degrees (magnetic). The crew assisted with the subsequent evacuation, which was orderly and there were no injuries. The total flight time since takeoff from Santander had been 2 hrs 20 minutes, with a fuel consumption, according to the flow meters, of 3458 litres. On examination, all fuel tanks were found to be empty.
Probable cause:
The accident was caused by the aircraft running out of fuel due to the crew's erroneous belief that there was on board sufficient fuel to complete the flight. The aircraft's unreliable fuel gauges, the company pilots' method of establishing the total fuel quantity and lack of precise company instructions regarding the use of dripsticks were major contributory factors. Meter indications on the refuelling vehicle at Santander, which cannot have reflected the quantity of fuel delivered, are also considered to have been a probable contributory factor.
Final Report:

Crash of a Beechcraft 200 Super King Air near Nantes: 2 killed

Date & Time: Sep 25, 1979 at 2220 LT
Operator:
Registration:
G-BGHR
Flight Phase:
Flight Type:
Survivors:
No
Schedule:
Stansted - Exeter
MSN:
BB-508
YOM:
1979
Country:
Region:
Crew on board:
2
Crew fatalities:
Pax on board:
0
Pax fatalities:
Other fatalities:
Total fatalities:
2
Captain / Total flying hours:
9400
Copilot / Total flying hours:
9550
Copilot / Total hours on type:
7
Aircraft flight hours:
47
Circumstances:
After a flight from Leavesden to Stansted, the instructor had filed an IFR flight plan for Stansted - Exeter, at FL310, the planned departure from Stansted being at 1400. Take-off from Stansted was at 1303, and during the following 40 minutes the aircraft flew locally in the Stansted zone where it conducted two ILS approaches followed by an overshoot. At 1345 it was authorised to change from the Stansted frequency and contact the London Centre. The climb to FL310 was normal. At 1421 hrs the pilot asked ATC whether it would be possible to perform an emergency descent exercise before reaching Exeter, his intention being to begin the descent after passing Dawlish. The controller agreed and asked the pilot to call back when he was ready to begin the manoeuvre. At 1435 the Beech was almost over Dawlish and the crew announced they were ready to begin the exercise. They stated that they would keep a listening watch on the frequency during the descent, but would not be able to transmit while they were donning their masks. At 1436, the flight was authorised to begin the descent, initially to FL120. At 1438 the controller gave the Beech a right-hand turn heading for Exeter. At 1439 he repeated the heading. At 1443, noting that the aircraft had commenced a turn to the left, he authorised it to turn left to head for Exeter. At 1444 he asked for the pilot to give an identifying 'squawk' on the transponder. He did not receive a reply to any of these communications. Since 1438 Beech G-BGHR had been describing large circles to the left at FL310. The wind at that altitude made the aircraft drift towards the south, and it was to pass successively over Guernsey, Jersey, Dinard and Rennes. At the end of its endurance at 2020 (2220LT) the aircraft crashed near Nantes, 20 km to the east/southeast of the town. A RAF Nimrod escorted the Beechcraft during its progress to the vicinity of Nantes. G-BGHR was also followed by two Dassault Mirage III and three Mirage F1 of the French Air Force from 1810 until 2010. The pilots of these aircrafts checked the external condition of the Beech, which appeared normal, the doors and emergency exits were in their normal position, the cabin and cockpit were illuminated and the navigation lights were operating. However, they were unable to make any contact but they all noted the presence of warning lights on the control panel.
Probable cause:
The immediate cause of the accident was the aircraft striking the ground at a steep angle. The cause of the accident was depressurization of the cabin at high altitude by the pilot. This exercise is too dangerous to be carried out on an aircraft in this class, in view of the useful consciousness time available to the pilots in the case of any failure of the oxygen circuit. In this particular case, the oxygen masks were not connected and the crew died in flight due to hypoxia.
Final Report:

Crash of an Airspeed AS.10 Oxford I in Exeter

Date & Time: Apr 27, 1956
Type of aircraft:
Operator:
Registration:
PH318
Flight Type:
Survivors:
Yes
Schedule:
Exeter - Exeter
MSN:
4148
Location:
Region:
Crew on board:
2
Crew fatalities:
Pax on board:
0
Pax fatalities:
Other fatalities:
Total fatalities:
0
Circumstances:
The crew was engaged in a local training sortie at Exeter Airport. After landing, the twin engine aircraft encountered difficulties to stop, overran, lost its undercarriage and came to a halt in a field. Both pilots were unhurt while the aircraft was damaged beyond repair.
Probable cause:
Wrong approach configuration on part of the flying crew who completed the landing at an excessive speed in full flap configuration and in strong cross winds conditions.

Crash of a Douglas C-47A-70-DL near Bellever: 7 killed

Date & Time: Oct 13, 1945
Operator:
Registration:
42-100640
Flight Phase:
Flight Type:
Survivors:
No
Site:
Schedule:
Villacoublay – Exeter
MSN:
19103
YOM:
1943
Location:
Region:
Crew on board:
3
Crew fatalities:
Pax on board:
4
Pax fatalities:
Other fatalities:
Total fatalities:
7
Circumstances:
While on approach to Exeter Airport, the crew was forced to divert to RAF Western Zoyland due to poor weather conditions. Few minutes later, while cruising in poor weather conditions, the aircraft hit stone wall on a hillside and crashed. All seven occupants were killed.

Crash of a Douglas C-47A-75-DL in Magneville: 22 killed

Date & Time: Jun 6, 1944 at 0200 LT
Operator:
Registration:
42-100905
Flight Phase:
Flight Type:
Survivors:
No
MSN:
19368
YOM:
1944
Country:
Region:
Crew on board:
4
Crew fatalities:
Pax on board:
18
Pax fatalities:
Other fatalities:
Total fatalities:
22
Circumstances:
The aircraft left Exeter Airport in the night and was taking part to the D-Day over Normandy on a paratroopers mission. While cruising at an altitude of some 3,000 feet 10 km south of Cherbourg, the aircraft was shot down by the German Flak, dove into the ground and crashed in a field located in Magneville. All 22 occupants were killed.
Crew (440th TCG / 95th TCS):
1st Lt Ray B. Pullen, pilot,
2nd Lt John M. Greeley, copilot,
S/Sgt Finney W. Gordon,
S/Sgt Sidney H. Saltzman, radio navigator.
Passengers (paratroopers):
1st Lt Gerald V. Howard Jr.,
Sgt Robert L. Todd,
T/4 John T. Bray Jr.,
Cpl Donald E. Bignall,
Cpl Marvin M. Stallings,
T/5 Orville Vanderpool,
Pfc Gilbert Amabisco,
Pfc Richard L. Calhoon,
Pfc Warren K. Carney,
Pfc John J. Kittia,
Pfc William E. Olson,
Pvt James J. Farrel,
Pvt Frederick P. Smith,
Pvt Paul J. Weber,
Pvt Howard Phillips,
Pvt Glen L. Weirich,
Pvt Clarence M. Wright,
Pvt John A. Wright.
Probable cause:
Shot down by German Flak.

Crash of a Douglas C-47A-70-DL near Grandcamp-Maisy: 19 killed

Date & Time: Jun 6, 1944 at 0140 LT
Operator:
Registration:
42-100733
Flight Phase:
Flight Type:
Survivors:
Yes
Schedule:
Exeter - Exeter
MSN:
19196
YOM:
1943
Country:
Region:
Crew on board:
4
Crew fatalities:
Pax on board:
19
Pax fatalities:
Other fatalities:
Total fatalities:
19
Circumstances:
The Dakota was involved in a paratroopers mission and was taking part to the D-Day over Normandy. While cruising by night south of Pointe du Hoc, the aircraft was shot down by the German Flak. Four paratroopers were able to bail out before the aircraft dove into the ground and crashed in a field located near Grandcamp-Maisy. All 19 occupants were killed.
Probable cause:
Shot down by the German Flak.