Crash of a Learjet 25 in Northolt

Date & Time: Aug 13, 1996 at 0957 LT
Type of aircraft:
Operator:
Registration:
EC-CKR
Flight Type:
Survivors:
Yes
Schedule:
Palma de Majorque-Northolt
MSN:
25-184
YOM:
1974
Flight number:
MAQ123
Region:
Crew on board:
2
Crew fatalities:
Pax on board:
1
Pax fatalities:
Other fatalities:
Total fatalities:
0
Captain / Total flying hours:
5200
Captain / Total hours on type:
1900.00
Copilot / Total flying hours:
5340
Copilot / Total hours on type:
1700
Aircraft flight hours:
4396

Crash of a Convair C-131D Samaritan in Munich: 53 killed

Date & Time: Dec 17, 1960 at 1410 LT
Type of aircraft:
Operator:
Registration:
55-0291
Flight Type:
Survivors:
No
Site:
Schedule:
Munich – Northolt
MSN:
212
YOM:
1955
Location:
Country:
Region:
Crew on board:
7
Crew fatalities:
Pax on board:
13
Pax fatalities:
Other fatalities:
Total fatalities:
53
Circumstances:
The aircraft was engaged in a special flight from Munich to RAF Northolt, near London, carrying British students who were flying back home for Christmas and a crew of seven. One minute after takeoff from Munich-Riem Airport, while climbing to an altitude of 1,000 meters, the crew informed ground about the failure of the left engine and obtained the permission to return for an emergency landing. Few seconds later, the copilot informed ground that he was unable to control the loss of altitude. In a limited visibility due to fog (800 meters horizontal and 40 meters vertical), the airplane struck the top of the St Paul church with its left wing and crashed in a huge explosion in the center of a commercial district of Munich. The airplane exploded while hitting a tramway, several cars and people and debris were scattered in the street and several shops as well. All 20 occupants on board the aircraft were killed as well as 33 people on the ground, essentially people sitting in the tramway. Nine other people were seriously injured.
Probable cause:
Its is believed that the failure of the left engine was caused by the combination of the following factors:
- The fuel line, the fuel tank and the fuel pump were contaminated with water,
- Due to low temperature and icing conditions, the carburetor performances were reduced,
- The crew encountered engine difficulties prior to takeoff but apparently decided to continue the procedure.

Crash of an Avro 652 Anson C.19 in Ruislip

Date & Time: Jun 1, 1960
Type of aircraft:
Operator:
Registration:
VV298
Flight Phase:
Flight Type:
Survivors:
Yes
Site:
Schedule:
Northolt – Marham
Region:
Crew on board:
2
Crew fatalities:
Pax on board:
2
Pax fatalities:
Other fatalities:
Total fatalities:
0
Circumstances:
The twin engine aircraft was engaged in a special flight from RAF Northolt to RAF Marham, carrying two cameraman from the BBC and two crew members. Shortly after takeoff from RAF Northolt, while climbing, the left engine failed. Unable to maintain a safe altitude, the crew attempted an emergency landing when the airplane stalled and crashed on the roof of the Premier Foods egg packing building located in Victoria road in Ruislip, about 1,5 mile north of the airfield. Both passengers were unhurt while both pilots were seriously injured. The aircraft was damaged beyond repair.
Probable cause:
Failure of the left engine after takeoff.

Crash of an Avro 685 York C.1 in Luqa

Date & Time: May 20, 1958
Type of aircraft:
Operator:
Registration:
G-AMUT
Flight Type:
Survivors:
Yes
Schedule:
Northolt – Luqa
MSN:
MW185
YOM:
1945
Location:
Country:
Region:
Crew on board:
3
Crew fatalities:
Pax on board:
0
Pax fatalities:
Other fatalities:
Total fatalities:
0
Circumstances:
Following a wrong approach configuration, the aircraft landed long and the touchdown was reported 1,700 feet past the runway threshold. Unable to stop within the remaining distance, the airplane overran, lost its undercarriage and came to rest after it struck a wall. All three crew members were slightly injured while the aircraft was damaged beyond repair.
Probable cause:
Wrong approach configuration on part of the crew.

Crash of an Avro 685 York C.1 in Luqa

Date & Time: Apr 13, 1954
Type of aircraft:
Operator:
Registration:
G-AMUM
Flight Phase:
Flight Type:
Survivors:
Yes
Schedule:
Luqa – Northolt
MSN:
SET65
YOM:
1947
Location:
Country:
Region:
Crew on board:
3
Crew fatalities:
Pax on board:
0
Pax fatalities:
Other fatalities:
Total fatalities:
0
Circumstances:
While taxiing, the engine number four failed to start due to a starter issue. The captain decided to increase speed, hoping to start the engine by windmilling the propeller. When the engine started, the pilot was unable to stop the aircraft in a timely manner. The airplane veered off taxiway, lost its undercarriage and came to rest against a small embankment. All three crew members were unhurt while the aircraft was damaged beyond repair.
Probable cause:
An error of judgement of the pilot, in that he failed to throttle back and apply his brakes in sufficient time to stop the aircraft from rolling forward beyond the end of the runway.

Crash of a Bristol 170 Freighter 21 in Berlin

Date & Time: Jan 19, 1953
Type of aircraft:
Operator:
Registration:
G-AICM
Flight Type:
Survivors:
Yes
Schedule:
Northolt – Berlin
MSN:
12756
YOM:
1946
Country:
Region:
Crew on board:
2
Crew fatalities:
Pax on board:
0
Pax fatalities:
Other fatalities:
Total fatalities:
0
Circumstances:
The crew was performing a cargo flight from Northolt to Berlin-Tempelhof and the approach was completed in low visibility due to foggy conditions. On final, the twin engine aircraft stalled and crashed on a railway road located few hundred yards from runway 09R threshold. Both pilots were rescued while the aircraft was destroyed.
Probable cause:
Double engine failure on final approach caused by a fuel exhaustion.

Crash of a Vickers 607 Valetta C.1 off Agrigento: 19 killed

Date & Time: Jan 15, 1953 at 0448 LT
Type of aircraft:
Operator:
Registration:
VX562
Flight Phase:
Flight Type:
Survivors:
No
Schedule:
Luqa – Northolt
YOM:
1950
Country:
Region:
Crew on board:
3
Crew fatalities:
Pax on board:
16
Pax fatalities:
Other fatalities:
Total fatalities:
19
Circumstances:
While cruising at an altitude of 1,500 feet in low visibility due to the night and rain falls, the aircraft collided with a RAF Avro 683 Lancaster GR.3 registered TX270. En route from Luqa to Northolt, the Valetta was carrying 16 passengers and a crew of three. Following the collision, both aircraft crashed into the Mediterranean sea about 46 km southwest of Agrigento. All 26 occupants in both aircraft were killed.
Probable cause:
The court of inquiry decided that the weather conditions at the time were a factor with localized thunderstorms, heavy rain and hail and no blame could be attached to any individual. Evidence did reveal that though the Malta Flight Information Centre were not in possession of full information on the Lancaster's sortie, it was not a contributory cause.

Crash of a Vickers 610 Viking 1B in Belfast: 27 killed

Date & Time: Jan 5, 1953 at 2139 LT
Type of aircraft:
Operator:
Registration:
G-AJDL
Survivors:
Yes
Schedule:
Northolt – Belfast
MSN:
262
YOM:
1949
Region:
Crew on board:
4
Crew fatalities:
Pax on board:
31
Pax fatalities:
Other fatalities:
Total fatalities:
27
Captain / Total flying hours:
5100
Circumstances:
The crew started the approach to Belfast-Nutt's Corner by night and in marginal weather conditions. On final, the aircraft christened 'Lord Saint Vincent' was too low and hit the approach light number six (the top of which is 113 feet below the glide path) and appeared to level out. It touched down some 250 feet further on, ran along the ground for about 82 feet, rose again, struck the SBA van, came down again and struck the ILS building before breaking up about 200 yards short of runway 28 threshold. Eight occupants were injured while 27 others were killed, among them three crew members. The aircraft was destroyed.
Probable cause:
The Inquiry found no indication of mechanical failure. The documentation of the aircraft was in order, the crew were properly qualified, and control procedures were correctly carried out. The Inquiry found that on the evidence available there existed such conditions as could properly be described as deceptive to the pilot and the conclusion was that the primary cause of the accident was an error of judgment on the part of the Captain.
Final Report:

Crash of a Vickers 619 Wellington X near Le Vigan: 7 killed

Date & Time: Feb 8, 1952
Type of aircraft:
Operator:
Registration:
RP383
Flight Phase:
Flight Type:
Survivors:
No
Site:
Schedule:
Northolt – Luqa
Location:
Country:
Region:
Crew on board:
7
Crew fatalities:
Pax on board:
0
Pax fatalities:
Other fatalities:
Total fatalities:
7
Circumstances:
While cruising in poor weather conditions and at an insufficient altitude, the aircraft hit the slope of a mountain shrouded in clouds. The wreckage was found near Le Vigan, about 45 km north of Montpellier. All seven crew members were killed. It was determined that the aircraft was slightly off course at the time of the accident, maybe following a navigational error on part of the crew. The poor visibility caused by low clouds was considered as a contributory factor.

Crash of a Douglas C-47B-35-DK Dakota III in Dolwyddelan: 23 killed

Date & Time: Jan 10, 1952 at 1915 LT
Operator:
Registration:
EI-AFL
Flight Phase:
Survivors:
No
Site:
Schedule:
Northolt – Dublin
MSN:
16699/33447
YOM:
1945
Region:
Crew on board:
3
Crew fatalities:
Pax on board:
20
Pax fatalities:
Other fatalities:
Total fatalities:
23
Circumstances:
At 1725LT, the aircraft christened 'Saint Kevin' took off from Northolt Airport en route for Dublin, carrying a crew of three and twenty passengers. The flight was without incident as far as Welshpool. The intended course from this point onwards until the coast was reached at a point near Harlech, lay over the Welsh mountains with heights rising to about 3,000 feet. At 1855LT the 'Saint Kevin', which throughout was flying under Instrument Flight Rules, asked and received permission from Preston Air Traffic Control to ascend from 4,500 feet which was the planned height of the flight, to 6,500 feet, being the next authorized level for westbound flights on this route. No reason was given for this request. At about 1912LT the aircraft reported its position to be over Nevin. At some time between 1912LT and 1915LT, the 'Saint Kevin', having changed to the Dublin frequency requested descent clearance. Dublin acknowledged this request and granted clearance which was not acknowledged. No further radio messages were received. At about 1915LT the aircraft crashed approximately 18 nautical miles from Nevin Beacon in a northerly direction, at a point about 4 nautical miles ESE from the summit of Snowdon. All 23 occupants lost their lives.
Probable cause:
The cause of the accident could not be determined with certainty. However, investigators concluded that the combination of several factors contributed to the accident, such as weather conditions (clouds, icing, turbulences), pilot decision, evaluation of the situation in flight, flight conditions, etc. Please refer to the final report below.
Final Report: