Zone

Crash of an Airspeed AS.57 Ambassador 2 in Manston

Date & Time: Sep 30, 1968
Type of aircraft:
Operator:
Registration:
G-AMAG
Flight Type:
Survivors:
Yes
Schedule:
London - London
MSN:
5229
YOM:
1953
Location:
Region:
Crew on board:
2
Crew fatalities:
Pax on board:
0
Pax fatalities:
Other fatalities:
Total fatalities:
0
Circumstances:
After a touch-and-go landing at Gatwick Airport, the right main gear didn't lock up. The gear was recycled and the pilot then checked the gear visually and the gear appeared to be fully retracted. On gear extension for the next landing, the right main gear warning light remained on. The gear was recycled several times, but without success. Other attempts (high g turns, using the hand pump, and touching the runway) also failed. It was then decided to make a wheels-up landing on a foam carpet at Manston.
Probable cause:
The starboard undercarriage pin had fractured and fallen out of its housing. This permitted the assembly to drop under its own weight and, as a result it was mechanically impossible for the up-lock catch to disengage from the pin on the undercarriage leg.

Crash of a Douglas C-54A-1-DC Skymaster on Mt Canigou: 88 killed

Date & Time: Jun 3, 1967 at 2306 LT
Type of aircraft:
Operator:
Registration:
G-APYK
Flight Phase:
Survivors:
No
Site:
Schedule:
Manston - Perpignan
MSN:
10279
YOM:
1944
Country:
Region:
Crew on board:
5
Crew fatalities:
Pax on board:
83
Pax fatalities:
Other fatalities:
Total fatalities:
88
Captain / Total flying hours:
10400
Captain / Total hours on type:
145.00
Copilot / Total flying hours:
17500
Aircraft flight hours:
42663
Circumstances:
The Douglas C-54A passenger aircraft operated on a non-scheduled international flight from Manston, England, to Perpignan, France. Takeoff was accomplished at 17:31 hours GMT and the airplane climbed to the en route cruising altitude of FL90. At 19:48 hours the flight crew established contact with Marseille Control and reported having crossed the FIR boundary. At 20:25 hours the flight reported over Mende at FL90, estimating abeam Montelimar at 20:44 hours. Marseille Control immediately asked for confirmation abeam Martigues for it could not be Montelimar which is practically on the same parallel as Mende. The aircraft then corrected its message to abeam Montpellier at 20:44 hours and shortly thereafter, on request, gave its estimated time of arrival (ETA) at Perpignan as 21:10 hours. A rough calculation showed that if the aircraft had passed Mende at 20:25 hours and if its ETA of 20:44 hours abeam Montpellier was confirmed, its ETA of 21:10 hours at Perpignan was not possible without a decrease in ground speed of about 18 per cent, unless the pilot had allowed some time for the approach procedure. In view of this Marseille Control requested at 20:33 hours confirmation of the 21:10 hours ETA at Perpignan. The flight replied with an ETA of 22:10 hours then corrected this to 21:10 hours. At 20:43 hours the aircraft reported abeam Montelimar (instead of Montpellier), and estimating Papa 3, an entry point into Perpignan located at Narbonne, at 20:52 hours. This estimate was appropriate but made the ETA of 21:10 hours for Perpignan even more difficult to accept. At 20:50 hours the aircraft corrected its ETA over Papa 3 to 20:51 hours, confirmed its ETA at Perpignan as 21:10 hours and requested authorization to start its descent. Marseille Control cleared the aircraft to descend to FL70 and asked it to call Perpignan Approach. At 20:52 hours the aircraft called Perpignan Approach, confirmed its 21:10 hours ETA and stated that it was descending to flight level 70. Perpignan Approach then gave the flight the QFE, the QNH and the surface temperature and asked it to call again on passing flight level 70. At 20:55 hours the aircraft reported approaching FL70 descending to FL50, and five minutes later it reported approaching FL50. Perpignan Approach acknowledged receipt and asked it if it had the aerodrome in sight. The flight replied "Roger, we'll advise, field in sight." Having apparently understood that the aircraft actually had the runway in sight, Perpignan Approach then instructed it to report downwind for runway 33 and told it that the wind was calm. At 21:04 hours Perpignan Approach asked the aircraft for its flight level and was advised 4000 ft; the flight also advised it would be "...with you in about five minutes." When asked by the Controller if it had the field in sight the flight replied at 21:05 hours "Yankee Kilo negative at this moment." Perpignan Approach then repeated in a questioning tone of voice - "Yankee Kilo, you have not my field in sight?" and received the reply "that is affirmative". The controller misunderstood this remark and told the aircraft to report downwind for runway 33, wind calm. A few seconds later the aircraft asked for QDMs (magnetic bearings), Perpignan Approach was surprised and asked it to repeat its request. There was no reply to any subsequent calls by Perpignan. It was subsequently found that the aircraft had impacted a mountain in the Pyrenees Mountains at an elevation of 1160 m. The wreckage was found in a ditch located at an altitude of 940 meters on the slope of Mt Canigou after the airplane struck the Dent du Lion with one of its wing. The aircraft was totally destroyed and none of the 88 occupants survived the crash.
Probable cause:
The Commission is of the opinion that the accident occurred following a collision with the mountainside, which resulted directly from a series of errors on the part of the crew (failure to use all the means of radio navigation available in the aircraft, error in dead reckoning, descent starting from a point which had been inadequately identified, failure to observe the safe altitudes fixed on the company's flight plan and, perhaps, mistakes in identification by visual reference to the ground.) This irrational conduct of the flight can be explained by the phenomena due to intoxication by carbon monoxide coming from a defective heating system. Finally, it should be stressed that the misunderstandings which occurred between the aircraft and the Perpignan controller, as a result of language difficulties and in particular the non-existence of any standard phraseology, and also the failure to check the aircraft's magnetic bearing by means of the D/F equipment during the communication at 20.55hrs, may have constituted additional aggravating circumstances.
Final Report:

Crash of a Bristol 175 Britannia 308F in Manston

Date & Time: Apr 20, 1967
Type of aircraft:
Operator:
Registration:
G-ANCG
Survivors:
Yes
Schedule:
London - Kuwait City
MSN:
12923
YOM:
1959
Location:
Region:
Crew on board:
11
Crew fatalities:
Pax on board:
54
Pax fatalities:
Other fatalities:
Total fatalities:
0
Captain / Total flying hours:
7254
Captain / Total hours on type:
1874.00
Copilot / Total flying hours:
7000
Copilot / Total hours on type:
3840
Aircraft flight hours:
10682
Circumstances:
Shortly after takeoff from London-Heathrow Airport, while climbing, the undercarriage wouldn't lock up after takeoff, so the crew recycled the gear a couple of times. On the third attempt, the bogie (which was not rotating in the right sequence) fouled the main hydraulic jack fracturing the attachment bolt of the shuttle valve for the main and emergency 'down' hydraulic lines. All hydraulic fluid escaped and the gear couldn't be extended anymore. In agreement with ATC, the captain decided to divert to Manston-Kent Airport where an emergency landing was carried out on a foamed runway. The airplane completed a belly landing and was damaged beyond repair while all 65 occupants escaped uninjured.
Probable cause:
The undercarriage failed to lock down due to loss of the hydraulic fluid from the main and emergency systems. This resulted from fracture of the hydraulic lines consequent upon fouling of the port undercarriage retraction jack head by the bogie through incorrect setting up of the retraction sequence valve. The following findings were reported:
- The port main undercarriage retraction sequence valve, which was replaced before the flight, was not correctly set up,
- The undercarriage retraction test to check the operation of the sequence valve was carried out in such a way that the incorrect sequence of retraction resulting from the finding indicated in the previous paragraph was not detected,
- When the undercarriage was retracted after takeoff, the port bogie beam fouled the port main undercarriage retraction jack head,
- 'Recycling' the undercarriage resulted in the detachment of the main and emergency 'down' lines, and the loss of all hydraulic fluid and other fluids with which the system was replenished,
- None of the undercarriage units could be locked down and all collapsed during the landing.
Final Report:

Crash of a Vickers 610 Viking 1B in Manston

Date & Time: Aug 2, 1965
Type of aircraft:
Operator:
Registration:
G-AHPL
Flight Phase:
Flight Type:
Survivors:
Yes
Schedule:
Manston - Manston
MSN:
149
YOM:
1947
Location:
Region:
Crew on board:
3
Crew fatalities:
Pax on board:
0
Pax fatalities:
Other fatalities:
Total fatalities:
0
Circumstances:
The crew was involved in a local training flight at Manston-Kent Airport. During the takeoff roll, the captain decided to abandon the takeoff procedure for unknown reason. Unable to stop within the remaining distance, the twin engine aircraft overran, lost its undercarriage and came to rest on its belly. All three crew members were rescued while the aircraft was damaged beyond repair. The reason why the captain decided to interrupt the takeoff roll remains unknown.

Crash fo a De Havilland DHC-2 Beaver AL1 off Zeebrugge: 1 killed

Date & Time: Jan 24, 1962 at 1843 LT
Type of aircraft:
Operator:
Registration:
XP813
Flight Phase:
Flight Type:
Survivors:
No
Schedule:
Antwerp – Manston
MSN:
1469
YOM:
1961
Country:
Region:
Crew on board:
1
Crew fatalities:
Pax on board:
0
Pax fatalities:
Other fatalities:
Total fatalities:
1
Circumstances:
En route from Antwerp to Manston, Kent, the single engine aircraft went out of control and crashed into the sea off Zeebrugge (WZC de Noordhinder). The pilot was killed and the aircraft was later recovered.
Crew:
WO2 S. Mousley, pilot.

Crash of a Vickers 648 Varsity T.1 at Manston: 3 killed

Date & Time: Jan 23, 1958
Type of aircraft:
Operator:
Registration:
WL633
Flight Type:
Survivors:
Yes
Schedule:
Thorney Island – Manston
YOM:
1953
Location:
Region:
Crew on board:
5
Crew fatalities:
Pax on board:
0
Pax fatalities:
Other fatalities:
Total fatalities:
3
Circumstances:
Following an uneventful flight from RAF Thorney Island, the crew completed a normal approach to Manston Airport. After touchdown, the airplane deviated from the centerline of the runway to the left. The pilot-in-command elected to correct the deviation but after a run of about 250 meters, the airplane hit a snow wall, ground looped for about 130° and came to rest in flames 30 meters farther with its left wing sheared off. Two cadets were uninjured while three other crew members were killed.
Probable cause:
The exact cause of the loss of control upon landing was not determined with certainty.

Crash of a Vickers 619 Wellington X off Birchington-on-Sea: 1 killed

Date & Time: Nov 20, 1947
Type of aircraft:
Operator:
Registration:
RP500
Flight Phase:
Flight Type:
Survivors:
Yes
Schedule:
Manston - Manston
Region:
Crew on board:
4
Crew fatalities:
Pax on board:
0
Pax fatalities:
Other fatalities:
Total fatalities:
1
Circumstances:
The crew was completing a training sortie over the North Sea when the right engine failed in flight. The captain reduced his altitude and elected to return to Manston for an emergency landing. While descending to an altitude of 800 feet and while flying across the last cloud layer, the aircraft stalled and crashed into the sea, few miles off Birchington-on-Sea. A crew member was killed while three others were rescued.
Probable cause:
Failure of the right engine.

Crash of a Douglas C-47B-10-DK Dakota C.4 in Westgate-on-Sea: 2 killed

Date & Time: Aug 28, 1947
Operator:
Registration:
KJ984
Flight Phase:
Flight Type:
Survivors:
No
Schedule:
Manston - Manston
MSN:
14977/26422
YOM:
1944
Region:
Crew on board:
2
Crew fatalities:
Pax on board:
0
Pax fatalities:
Other fatalities:
Total fatalities:
2
Circumstances:
The crew was completing a training sortie and while cruising at low height with an engine inoperative, the aircraft went out of control, dove into the ground and crashed in a huge explosion in a field located in Westgate-on-Sea. Both pilots were killed.
Probable cause:
The exact cause of the loss of control could not be determined with certainty. However, investigators confirmed the aircraft was flying with an engine inoperative as voluntarily shut down by the crew for the exercise. Also, the pilot was able to recover from the spin but unfortunately too late as the distance between the aircraft and the ground was insufficient when stall occurred.

Crash of an Avro 652 Anson I in Ewell Minnis: 3 killed

Date & Time: Feb 22, 1937
Type of aircraft:
Operator:
Registration:
K6158
Flight Phase:
Flight Type:
Survivors:
Yes
Schedule:
Manston - Manston
Location:
Region:
Crew on board:
4
Crew fatalities:
Pax on board:
0
Pax fatalities:
Other fatalities:
Total fatalities:
3
Circumstances:
The crew was engaged in a circular training flight from Manston Airport. While flying by night in a snowstorm, the twin engine aircraft was hit by lightning. It went out of control and crashed in a field located in Ewell Minnis, between Folkestone and Dover. Two crew were injured while two others were killed. Two days later, one of the survivor died from his injuries.
Crew (48th Squadron) :
Gwilym James Maurice, pilot, †
Stanley McCabe, radio operator, †
George Edward Strangman, navigator, †
Reginald John Cooper, navigator.
Probable cause:
Went out of control after being hit by lightning.

Crash of an Avro 652 Anson I off Whitstable

Date & Time: Jun 25, 1936
Type of aircraft:
Operator:
Registration:
K6166
Flight Phase:
Flight Type:
Survivors:
Yes
Schedule:
Manston - Manston
MSN:
981
YOM:
1936
Location:
Region:
Crew on board:
4
Crew fatalities:
Pax on board:
0
Pax fatalities:
Other fatalities:
Total fatalities:
0
Circumstances:
The crew from the 48th Squadron was performing a routine flight along the east coast of England when the left engine failed in flight. Captain attempted to ditch the aircraft some 10 km off Whitstable, Kent. All four crewmen were quickly rescued and the aircraft was later towed to the harbor of Whitstable and declared damaged beyond repair. First accident involving an Avro 652 Anson Mk I.
Probable cause:
Engine failure.