Thread: LUTON - 6
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Old 8th Jun 2011, 19:56
  #3349 (permalink)  
vintage ATCO
aceatco, retired
Join Date: Sep 2002
Location: one airshow or another
Posts: 1,431
Also in the mid-1970s a Dan-Air B727 took off for Corfu 2 1/2 tons overweight and took out a number of lights on the 08 end. The Captain never flew again for Dan-Air!
21 June 1974 G-BAEF hit the runway 26 localiser and 08 approach lights on take-off and diverted to Gatwick with damage. The 26 ILS was out of action for many months. I was the Tower controller.

It was not overweight, accident report Don't know about the fate of the Captain.

I can also remember an exec jet knocking over some of the approach light pylons on 26 when an approach was made in thick fog. From memory the damage was done a long way from the runway so the aircraft must have then carried out a go around. This must have been a good 20 years ago.
Yes, can't remember when or what but I remember seeing a photograph taken after it landed at Heathrow with a dent in the top of the nose coaming after coming into contact with an approach light, before it climbed away on the go around.

Then there was the occasion when the airport authority thought it would be a good idea to block pave the turning circle. All was OK until an aircraft was damaged when the bricks came free due to jet blast.
Not just the airport authority but many other agencies including the CAA and RAF thought it a good idea. The RAF were going to bring a Harrier to test it but it never happened.

It was not simple jet blast that caused the disruption but the Bernoulli effect from low slung jet engines. Older generation jets were not (apparently) a problem but then along came the Boeing 737-300. The incident occurred after a prolonged period of heavy rain. The interlocking blocks were laid on sand which became saturated, a problem not envisaged. The Bernouilli effect caused the blocks to be sucked upwards which were then disrupted from the raised position from the jet blast as the aircraft rolled. I was first on the scene following the incident.

A complete rethink was necessary afterwards, not just by Luton but by other airports considering using them. They were tried to mitigate the effect of jet fuel that inevitable vented form some aircraft when they made the 180deg turn at the end of the runway. They had been used successfully on apron stands to mitigate the same problem. Luton Airport were praised by the CAA for their open and honest reporting of the incident to the aviation community at large.

Luton Airport were sued over the incident but the case was withdrawn by the plaintiff.
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