Date & Time: Jan 15, 1953 at 0448 LT
Type of aircraft:
Avro 683 Lancaster
Lake, Sea, Ocean, River
Crew on board:
Pax on board:
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 Vickers 607 Valetta C.1 registered VX562. 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. The Lancaster crew was following HMS Gambia and other Royal Navy ships on an antisubmarine exercise.
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.