View Full Version : BEA accident LHR?

29th Mar 2005, 20:56
I was once told, by an ex Northeast/BEA pilot, that BEA had an accident at LHR which involved collision with some parked aircraft. Shortly after that, I was informed, British Airways incorporated BEA into it's 'brand' and BEA was no more.

Would anyone here remember BEA accidents and incidents?

Wish I could be more specific, but it's years since I was told and memory fades.


29th Mar 2005, 21:11
well not sure what incident you may be referring to..

BEA was the european operator from LHR and BOAC was the long haul operator.

They eventually became one British Airways.

One of the incidents I recall was the Trident that came down near Staines.

And there was also a mid air incident over Zagreb I think?

Halcyon Days
29th Mar 2005, 21:51
I recollect an Ambassador of BKS crashing on landing at Heathrow and hitting some BEA parked aircraft. The Ambie was bringing in horses. Date of accident was 3rd July.1968 and tragically resulted in the loss of 6 lives.
The following taken from Aviation safety network

"Airspeed Ambassador G-AMAD was flying a cargo of 8 horses from Deauville to London. When approaching the runway 28R threshold, the left wing suddenly dropped. The wingtip, followed by the left main gear wheels touched the grass to the left of the runway. The crew tried to increase power to go around, but the aircraft flew on with an increasing bank angle. The plane struck two parked BEA HS-121 Trident aircraft, burst into flames, rolled on its back and came to rest against the ground floor of the terminal building. Trident G-ARPT was damaged beyond repair.

PROBABLE CAUSE: Failure of the port flap operating rod due to fatigue, permitting the port flaps to retract. This resulted in a rolling moment to port which could not be controlled.

I remember seeing some dramatic and tragic tv footage of the incident.

30th Mar 2005, 06:37
Was not the other Trident G-ARPI, later involved in the Staines tragedy?

30th Mar 2005, 07:19

Correct, PI was the other Trident involved. I belive it lost it's tail but was repaired.


30th Mar 2005, 08:19
Hiya Al,

Theer is a book caled An Illustratted Histiry Of BEA is a good read and has all the info you require.

Mike Durward

Shaggy Sheep Driver
30th Mar 2005, 19:16
I too remeber the Ambasssadour tragedy on TV.

There was also a (I think) BEA Vanguard that crashed in fog landing at Heathrow, but I don't think any other aircraft were damaged in that incident.


31st Mar 2005, 20:07
The Vanguard crash was October/November 1965, if my memory serves me right and I think the reg was G-APEE. It was either the Edinburgh or Glasgow night mail flight on which very cheap passenger tickets were also available. The accident was attributed to the first officer, who was flying the monitored approach, chasing the VSI on the go-around, instead of flying attitude on the ADI. It went into the runway at a very steep angle with a bang that could be heard all across the airport. There were no survivors.

28th Apr 2005, 19:30
If my memory serves me correctly, the Captain was a
Captain Hand, and his son was a ground engineer
for Channel Airways at Southend Airport at the time
of the accident.


28th Apr 2005, 21:14
The "Papa India" crash of 18 June 1972 at Staines was a watershed in flight safety recommendations and accident investigation for many reasons.

So much so that the AAIB still make the report available on their web site. (http://www.aaib.dft.gov.uk/publications/formal_reports/no_4_73_502559.cfm)

Eric Mc
30th Apr 2005, 12:09
The loss of Papa India was instrumental in Voice Recorders becoming compulsory on British registered airliners.

BEA lost a number of aircraft over its lifetime (1946 to 1974). I know one of its De Havilland Herons crashed in Scotland in the early 1960s, it also lost a Viscount in Scotland around 1973 and another Vanguard had its tail fall off resulting in a fatal nosedive in Ghent in 1971/72.

The Heathrow Vanguard crash was in 1966.

I always think that the Ghent Vanguard accident is almost completely forgotten about these days.

Shaggy Sheep Driver
30th Apr 2005, 12:26
I always think that the Ghent Vanguard accident is almost completely forgotten about these days.

Not quite caused by the tail falling off, but almost. IIRC the rear pressure bulkhead failed at altitude because of corrosion from the toilet area. The cabin air exhausted into the tail area, blowing off the aircraft's tail surface skins.


Eric Mc
30th Apr 2005, 17:35
I did know that :O

It was very similar to the much more well known JAL 747 SR crash in 1985. also caused by rear bulkhead failure.

My late uncle, who was a technical instructor at Aer Lingus in the 1960s and 1970s, always told me that he had a strong suspicion that the loss of the Aer Lingus Viscount in 1968 off Tuskar Rock might also have been caused by a similar failure. There is evidence that at least one tailplane failed prior to the accident. An elevator trim tab was found on a County Wexford beach and it showed no sign that it had been immersed in sea water. The implication being that it fell off the Viscount before it crossed the coastline.

The Vanguard bulkhead failure was caused by corrosion from the rear toilets. The Viscount was very similar to the Vanguard in the way this area was constructed so could have suffered a similar fate.

Shaggy Sheep Driver
30th Apr 2005, 18:43
Sorry, didn't mean to imply you didn't know the cause of the Guardsvan downing - just adding abit of detail.

That Aer Lingus Viscount loss is I think one of the very few civil airliner accidents in relatively recent times which still has no official explanation.

There are conspiracy theories about missile shoot-down, but was the wreckage ever recovered to make a full analysis?


Eric Mc
30th Apr 2005, 19:07
The anti-British sentiment in Ireland ensured that there was plenty of speculation about "shoot downs" or "accidental collisions" . If something like this occured the most likely culprit would have been a wayward Jindivik drone from Llanbedr. However, this has never been substantiated in any way whatsoever - altough many Irish woul;d have said that this was just perfidious Albion up to her old tricks.

Some wreckage was recovered but not enough for any conclusions to be drawn. The investigation would have been under the Irish governments Department of Transport which would have had nothing like the expertise available to the British CAA.

I still go with ny uncle's theory.

1st May 2005, 08:42
A copy of the original Viscount accident report and the 2000 review of it can be found here:


Eric Mc
1st May 2005, 09:28
Thank's for that. Tailplane failure is certainly now looked on as the most likely cause of the Viscount accident. As I suspected, the Irish investigation was not as thorough as one that might have been undertaken by the UK's AAIB. In addition, bad political feeling between Britain and Ireland during that period of time certainly didn't help matters - although I did see in the report that the Irish investigation team availed themselves of assistance from the RAF's Institute of Aviation Medicine.