Crash of a Bristol 175 Britannia 253 in Shannon

Date & Time: Sep 30, 1977
Type of aircraft:
Registration:
EI-BBY
Flight Type:
Survivors:
Yes
MSN:
13455
YOM:
1959
Location:
Country:
Region:
Crew on board:
4
Crew fatalities:
Pax on board:
2
Pax fatalities:
Other fatalities:
Total fatalities:
0
Circumstances:
On final approach to Shannon Airport runway 24, at an altitude of 300 feet, the crew encountered severe vibrations. The captain decided to initiate a go-around but the aircraft continued to descent until it struck the ground short of runway threshold. Upon impact, the right wing and the undercarriage were torn off and the aircraft came to rest in flames in a pasture. All six occupants escaped with minor injuries while the aircraft was damaged beyond repair.

Crash of a Piper PA-31T Cheyenne II in Shannon: 5 killed

Date & Time: Nov 12, 1976 at 1722 LT
Type of aircraft:
Operator:
Registration:
HB-LHT
Flight Phase:
Flight Type:
Survivors:
No
Schedule:
Shannon - London - Geneva
MSN:
31-7520003
YOM:
1975
Location:
Country:
Region:
Crew on board:
1
Crew fatalities:
Pax on board:
4
Pax fatalities:
Other fatalities:
Total fatalities:
5
Captain / Total flying hours:
1456
Captain / Total hours on type:
30.00
Aircraft flight hours:
877
Circumstances:
The twin engine airplane was completing an on-demand taxi flight from Shannon to Geneva with an intermediate stop in London, carrying four employees of the Digital Company and one pilot. The takeoff roll was initiated from runway 06 at Shannon Airport in poor weather conditions with a limited visibility due to fog. After liftoff, the airplane failed to maintain a positive vario and failed to gain sufficient height. At a speed of 160 knots, it nosed down to an angle of 5° and struck the runway surface about 1,600 metres from the runway threshold (point of departure). It bounced then struck successively a fence and a stone wall before crashing in flames in a prairie. The aircraft was totally destroyed by impact forces and a post crash fire and all five occupants have been killed.
Probable cause:
At the time of the accident, the runway visual range for runway 06 was 250 metres, which was considered as below the published procedures of the company and the airport which stipulated a minimum of 300 metres. No technical anomalies were found on the aircraft, its engines or instruments. The pilot took the decision to takeoff in below weather minimums and his experience was considered as insufficient with only 30 flying hours on type.

Crash of a Britten-Norman BN-2A-26 Islander in Inishmore

Date & Time: Oct 17, 1975
Type of aircraft:
Operator:
Registration:
EI-BBA
Survivors:
Yes
MSN:
444
YOM:
1975
Country:
Region:
Crew on board:
1
Crew fatalities:
Pax on board:
6
Pax fatalities:
Other fatalities:
Total fatalities:
0
Circumstances:
After touchdown on runway 14/32, the twin engine airplane encountered difficulties to stop within the remaining distance. It overran and came to rest few meters further. All seven occupants were evacuated, among them five were injured. The aircraft was damaged beyond repair.

Crash of a Vickers 803 Viscount off Wexford: 61 killed

Date & Time: Mar 24, 1968 at 1058 LT
Type of aircraft:
Operator:
Registration:
EI-AOM
Flight Phase:
Survivors:
No
Schedule:
Cork - London-Heathrow
MSN:
178
YOM:
1957
Flight number:
EI712
Country:
Region:
Crew on board:
4
Crew fatalities:
Pax on board:
57
Pax fatalities:
Other fatalities:
Total fatalities:
61
Captain / Total flying hours:
6683
Captain / Total hours on type:
1679.00
Copilot / Total flying hours:
1139
Copilot / Total hours on type:
900
Aircraft flight hours:
18806
Aircraft flight cycles:
16923
Circumstances:
Viscount aeroplane type 803, registration: EI-AOM departed from Cork Airport at 10.32 hours en route for London operating as Aer Lingus Flight 712. The take-off was normal. The flight was cleared by Air Traffic Control to proceed via Airways Blue 10, Green 1 at flight level 170 (17,000'). At 10.38, when the aeroplane had passed through 7,000', clearance on course to Tuskar was given. At 10.40, after the flight had reported it was by Youghal at 7,500' climbing to 17,000', ATC Cork suggested that if desired, the flight could route direct to Strumble. No direct acceptance of this suggestion was received. At 10.57.07 the flight reported "by Bannow (a reporting point on the route at 51º 68' N - 06º 12' W) level 170 (17,000') estimating Strumble at 03". The flight was instructed to change to the London Airways frequency of 131.2, and this was acknowledged by the reply "131.2". The time of this call was 10.57.29. At 10.58.02, London Radar intercepted a call (garbled and simultaneous with another call) which appeared to be, and was later confirmed as "Echo India Alpha Oscar Mike with you", and eight (8) seconds later, a call was intercepted which was interpreted as "Five thousand feet descending spinning rapidly". This call was also heard by another Aer Lingus aircraft en route Dublin-Bristol (The word "Five" was later, after repeated acoustic analysis, interpreted as more likely to be the word "twelve".) This was the last call received from the aircraft. At 11.10, London ATC advised Shannon ATC that they had no radio contact with EI-AOM. At 11.13 London advised Shannon that they had requested Aer Lingus Flight EI 362 (Dublin-Bristol) to search west of Strumble. This flight descended to 500' in good visibility, but saw nothing. Between 11.13 and 11.25, efforts were made to make radio contact with the flight, with no result, and at 11.25 a full alert was declared. At 12.36 a report from the U.K. was received by Haulbowline that wreckage had been sighted in position 51º 57' N, 06º 10' W Rosslare Lifeboat was proceeding, but two surface vessels within 4 nautical miles of this position saw nothing. At 12.52 hours the Air Corps reported that they had dispatched a Dove aeroplane and a helicopter to search. At 13.10 hours there were ten aircraft from the U.K. in the search area. At 15.30 hours the reported sighting of wreckage was cancelled. Nothing positive was discovered on this day. On 25 March 1968, at 06.15 hours, the search was resumed by aircraft and ships from the U.K., and at 12.41 hours, wreckage was sighted and bodies recovered from a position 6 nautical miles north-east of Tuskar Rock. More floating wreckage was reported scattered for a further 6 nautical miles north-west of this point. The Irish Naval Service ship, L.E. Macha, which had been on patrol off the north-west coast, joined in the search on 26 March 1968, and took over duty as Search Controller. A total of 13 bodies was eventually recovered in the search during the next few days, together with a quantity of light floating wreckage-mostly cabin furnishings, and some baggage, seat cushions, and the wheels and inner cylinder from the port main landing gear. One additional body was recovered later. The position of the main wreckage remained obscure in spite of prolonged and diligent search by sonar equipped ships of the British Navy and trawling by Irish trawlers-"Glendalough" from Kilmore Quay and "Cu na Mara" of the Irish Fisheries Board (An Bord Iascaigh Mhara). Eventually, on 5 June 1968 "Glendalough" hauled in position 1.72 nautical miles from Tuskar Rock with Tuskar bearing 280º, in 39 fathoms and brought up a quantity of positively identifiable wreckage. The "Cu na Mara" in the same location also brought up wreckage. On the following day more wreckage was brought up by these trawlers, and divers from H.M.S. Reclaim confirmed a mass of wreckage "like a scrap yard" in this position. Subsequent salvage operations confirmed that a major portion of the aircraft at least was located here. Two eyewitnesses, one a sailor on a coastal vessel, who thought he had seen an aircraft crash into the sea but did not report it at the time, and another witness on shore, who saw a splash in the sea near the Tuskar Rock, gave the time as between 11.10 and 11.15. The position lines of these two witnesses approximately cross the location where the main wreckage was eventually found. The aircraft was totally demolished by violent impact with the sea. The bulk of the wreckage was found in 39 fathoms of water with all parts lying in close proximity. About 60-65% of the aircraft (by weight) was recovered, and included the major parts of three engines, a few parts of the fourth, and all four propellers, the almost complete primary structure of the wings from tip to tip, and the fin and rudder. None of the wreckage displayed any evidence of fire or explosion. No part of the tail planes or elevators were recovered, with the exception of small portions of the spring tab and trim tab. The recovered wreckage revealed extensive damage to the whole structure, which virtually disintegrated.
Probable cause:
There is not enough evidence available on which to reach a conclusion of reasonable probability as to the initial cause of this accident. The probable cause of the final impact with the sea was impairment of the controllability of the aircraft in the fore and aft (pitching) plane. Speculation continued since the time of the accident, prompted by a hypothesis posed in the report, that the Viscount may have been initially upset by the possible presence of another airborne object, drone or missile in its vicinity at the time. On the 30th anniversary of the accident, following newspaper articles and television programmes focusing on the possible involvement of U.K ships and missile ranges on the Welsh Coast in the downing of the aircraft, it was decided that Irish and U.K. officials would review all files held relating to the accident to see if the cause of the accident could be established. It was a.o. concluded that "the possibility of a cause other than a (near) collision with another airborne object being the initial cause of the upset ... does not appear to have been adequately examined in the 1970 Report." Following the review, in July 2000, the Irish Minister for Public Enterprise commissioned an independent study of the accident circumstances. The International Study Team published their findings in December 2001:
- An initial event, which cannot be clearly identified, disturbed the air flow around the horizontal tail surfaces and the pitch control of the aircraft. In the light of what was observed by non-skilled people there was a strong indication that structural fatigue, flutter, corrosion or bird strike could have been involved,
- It is possible that the sensitivity of the engine fuel control units to negative accelerations imposed during the initial upset, had an adverse effect on the subsequent flight path of the aircraft,
- The severe manoeuvres of the aircraft following the initial upset and the subsequent flight would have been outside the airworthiness certification envelope and may have resulted in some deformation of the structure,
- A number of possible causes for an impairment of pitch control were examined and it is considered very possible that excessive spring tab free play resulted in the fatigue failure of a component in the tab operating mechanism thus inducing a tailplane-elevator tab free flutter condition,
- The loads induced by the flutter condition would be of sufficient magnitude and frequency to cause a fatigue failure of the port tailplane within the timescale estimated for EI-AOM,
- There was no involvement of any other aircraft or missile.
Final Report:

Crash of a Vickers 803 Viscount in Ashbourne: 3 killed

Date & Time: Jun 22, 1967 at 0835 LT
Type of aircraft:
Operator:
Registration:
EI-AOF
Flight Type:
Survivors:
No
Schedule:
Dublin - Dublin
MSN:
176
YOM:
1957
Country:
Region:
Crew on board:
3
Crew fatalities:
Pax on board:
0
Pax fatalities:
Other fatalities:
Total fatalities:
3
Aircraft flight hours:
17447
Circumstances:
The Viscount had departed Dublin at 06:44 GMT for a pilot conversion training flight on an IFR flight plan. The instructor planned to spend 2 hours in a sector NW of Dublin, followed by practicing circuits and landings for one hour. Eyewitnesses reported seeing the aircraft entering a vertical dive from low altitude. The plane crashed and caught fire. All three crew members were killed.
Source: ASN
Probable cause:
An unintentional stall and incipient spin at a low altitude from which recovery was not possible. There is not enough evidence to determine the circumstances leading to the stall and incipient spin but the behaviour of the aircraft in the final stages was such as to indicate that it was not under control of the flight instructor.

Crash of a Bristol 170 Freighter 31E in Dublin: 2 killed

Date & Time: Jun 12, 1967 at 1758 LT
Type of aircraft:
Operator:
Registration:
EI-APM
Flight Type:
Survivors:
No
Schedule:
Glasgow - Dublin
MSN:
13076
YOM:
1951
Flight number:
QT612
Location:
Country:
Region:
Crew on board:
2
Crew fatalities:
Pax on board:
0
Pax fatalities:
Other fatalities:
Total fatalities:
2
Circumstances:
Upon landing on runway 17 at Dublin Airport, the airplane seemed to be uncontrollable and bounced 3-4 times. The captain decided to abandon the landing, attempted a go around and increased engine power. After takeoff, while climbing to a height of approximately 50 feet, the airplane turned to the left when it stalled and crashed onto a hangar. The aircraft was destroyed and both crew members were killed. There were no injuries on the ground.
Probable cause:
The reason why the aircraft bounced on landing could not be determined with certainty. However, it was understood that the left engine partially lost power or failed during initial climb for unknown reason. This caused the aircraft to stall and to crash as the failure occurred at a critical stage of flight (low speed and low altitude).

Crash of a Douglas DC-4-1009 in Dublin

Date & Time: Sep 19, 1961 at 2104 LT
Type of aircraft:
Operator:
Registration:
G-ARJY
Survivors:
Yes
Schedule:
Tarbes – Dublin
MSN:
10288
YOM:
1944
Location:
Country:
Region:
Crew on board:
4
Crew fatalities:
Pax on board:
69
Pax fatalities:
Other fatalities:
Total fatalities:
0
Captain / Total flying hours:
6049
Captain / Total hours on type:
402.00
Copilot / Total flying hours:
14000
Copilot / Total hours on type:
4200
Aircraft flight hours:
31458
Circumstances:
G-ARJY was flying a chartered non- scheduled trip from Speke Airport, Liverpool to Tarbes Airport, Lourdes where passengers were to embark for Dublin, Ireland, Following a normal flight to Lourdes the aircraft was refuelled. The amount taken on appeared to be sufficient for the flight to Dublin. The aircraft was carrying 4 crew and 69 passengers. Take- off for Dublin was at 1710 hours, and the flight to Dublin Approach was uneventful. At 2035 the aircraft reported to Dublin Air Traffic Control and was informed of the local weather and of the runway in use. Subsequently, at 2058, it was cleared to land on runway 24, and the captain stated that he intended to make a visual approach. Shortly thereafter, at 2104 the flight reported having difficulty and that it was losing power. The captain abandoned the approach, swung the aircraft abruptly to the left and made a successful emergency wheels-up landing away from the airport. There was no fire. Although some occupants were slightly injured and shocked, there were no fatalities or serious injuries.
Probable cause:
The accident was attributed to incorrect management of the fuel system by the flight crew which resulted in partial Loss of power and control and a forced landing outside the airport.
Final Report:

Crash of a Douglas DC-6B in Shannon: 83 killed

Date & Time: Sep 10, 1961 at 0355 LT
Type of aircraft:
Registration:
N90773
Flight Phase:
Survivors:
No
Schedule:
Düsseldorf – Shannon – Gander – Chicago
MSN:
44058
YOM:
1953
Location:
Country:
Region:
Crew on board:
6
Crew fatalities:
Pax on board:
77
Pax fatalities:
Other fatalities:
Total fatalities:
83
Circumstances:
After takeoff by night from runway 24 at Shannon Airport, while climbing, the airplane turn to the left then banked left to an angle of 90° and eventually crashed inverted in the Shannon estuary, about two miles from the airfield. The aircraft was totally destroyed and all 83 occupants were killed. At the time of the accident, the visibility was poor due to the night and mist.
Probable cause:
Failure of the captain to maintain control of the aircraft after becoming airborne due to either:
- A defective artificial horizon and/or
- A fault in the right-hand aileron tabs.
Contributory causes could have been unsuitable weather conditions and possible crew fatigue.
Final Report:

Crash of a Douglas DC-6A in Shannon

Date & Time: Mar 26, 1961
Type of aircraft:
Operator:
Registration:
G-APOM
Flight Type:
Survivors:
Yes
Schedule:
Shannon - Shannon
MSN:
45519
YOM:
1958
Location:
Country:
Region:
Crew on board:
6
Crew fatalities:
Pax on board:
0
Pax fatalities:
Other fatalities:
Total fatalities:
0
Circumstances:
The crew was completing a local training mission at Shannon Airport. Following several touch-and-go maneuvers, the pilot performed a normal landing and prepared for takeoff again when one of the crew member inadvertently raised the undercarriage. The airplane sank on its belly and slid for several yards before coming to rest in flames on the left edge of the runway. All six crew members were evacuated safely while the aircraft was destroyed.
Probable cause:
The accident was the consequence of the following factors:
- Poor crew coordination,
- Poor flight preparation,
- Lack of pilot experience.