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Old 6th Jun 2021, 13:50
  #17 (permalink)  
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: UK
Age: 64
Posts: 290
Aquila Airways to the Sun

Aquila Airways were a UK Civvies' Airline - a Holiday airline to Lisbon, Madeira, Corsica and Las Palmas.

Aircraft operated all were derives of the Sunderland -
Short Sandringham
Short Solent
Short Sunderland

After the end of the Berlin Airlift, Aquila hoped to find more work for their fleet on passenger charters.
Aquila obtained an agreement with British European Airways under which they were permitted to operate scheduled services from Southampton to Lisbon and Madeira.
These flights were supplemented by charter flights to other Med destinations.
The popular Madeira service continued in 1950/51 and was joined by a Southampton to Jersey service from 7 July 1950, which used St Aubins Bay to land its passengers.
Operations during 1952 the airline continued to operate schedules to Madeira and the Canary Islands with newly acquired aircraft.
In 1954 the British Aviation Services Group took control of Aquila Airways, the last commercial flying boat operator in the UK.
During the late 1950s, Aquila Airways faced stiff competition from land based aircraft and were unable to obtain replacement flying boats (offers to purchase the prototype Princess flying boats having been rebuffed).

In 1957 an Aquila Airways flight crashed on the Isle of Wight in England on 15 November. With 45 lives lost, at the time it was the worst aircraft accident on English soil.
The aircraft, a Short Solent 3 flying boat named the City of Sydney, registered G-AKNU, departed Southampton Water at 22:46 on a night flight to Las Palmas and Madeira via Lisbon.
At 22:54 the crew radioed to report ''No. 4 engine feathered, Coming back in a hurry!''
During the attempt to return, the Solent crashed into the steep eastern slope of Shalcombe Down, above the small villages of Chessell and Shalcombe. At the time of impact the plane was banked 45 degrees to the right, the same side of the aircraft that had lost all engine power according to the accident report.
Three soldiers on a night-exercise were close by when the crash happened and were on the scene within minutes; they managed to rescue some of the survivors from the burning wreckage. Out of 58 souls on board - only 13 survived.
The essential cause remains unknown.
The accident was caused by the failure of the No.3 engine while the No.4 engine was also stopped. What caused the initial failure of the No.4 engine is unknown. The cause of the subsequent number 3 engine to also stop was either an electrical failure in the fuel cut-off actuator circuit, or the accidental operation of the cut-off switch.

Aquila Airways, after operating for 10 years, announced in July 1958 it would cease operations, nine months after the crash.

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