View Full Version : Viscount prang at EGLL 10 Jan 1955

4th Mar 2012, 15:15
In the course of my work, yesterday I came across a newspaper cutting of this event. The article was missing and just the photo caption. The a/c was given as belonging to B.E.A.C.

It appears to have been a taxying incident in fog, on departure but there were no details. The 'pilot' (not specified Cpt or FO) and one pax injured. I do not have the item in front of me to give any more info.

Does anyone recall this? I cannot find it mentioned anywhere (that I know where to search!)

4th Mar 2012, 20:41
16/1/55 G-AMOK. Attempted take off from disused runway, collided with barrier and hut. Aircraft repaired and returned to service

4th Mar 2012, 21:41
Tried to take off on the northern stub of the old runway 16 in low vis instead of one of the 15s, L or R, dunno which. Became known as 'Waite's Alley' after the skipper. Stub subsequently painted over as 'taxiway'.

4th Mar 2012, 21:42
Ah! Many thanks Bigt and Talkdownman, an unfortunate moment for the Captain.

I saw the clipping in the scrap album of a man who was on board the a/c! He was unharmed and lived to 81! He was very widely travelled as he worked for Shell in their exploration department and was in many obscure parts of the world in the 50s and 60s, searching for oil.

wet wet wet
4th Mar 2012, 23:23
Checking Google Earth, you can (just) see where the word 'TAXIWAY' was painted on the stub.

5th Mar 2012, 00:54
The summarised report below is from Flight of 23/9/1955. G-AMOK was well known thereafter as having been well registered as it ran amok! If I remember correctly it was rebuilt with a modified cockpit eliminating the R/Os position amongst other things. As such it became an oddball and was sold as a singleton to LAV in Venezuela where it survived about 4 years longer than it's sister 701s which had been sold to Cambrian and VASP.

RESULTS of the public inquiry into the accident to B.E.A.
Viscount G-AMOK, which was badly damaged on January
16th when attempting to take-off from London Airport, were announced
last week by the M.T.C.A. Printed copies of the report
will be available from H.M.S.O. in a few weeks' time.
The accident occurred in bad visibility when the aircraft struck
a barrier on the stub of a disused runway which had not been in
use since June 1949. Minor injuries were suffered by the captain
and one passenger. The strip in question was parallel to the runway
in use at the time (15R).
The report found that the cause of accident was a mistake by the
commander of the aircraft, Capt. E. J. Waits, due to over-confidence,
in failing to make any reasonable check that the aircraft
was in fact lined up on 15R. It found also that lst/Off. R. S.
Barratt, who was in physical control of the Viscount, was equally
over-confident, though his responsibility was less than the captain's.
The report concluded with a number of recommendations
concerning the markings of runways and taxiways and the system
of controlling aircraft on the ground at L.A.P.
A B.E.A. statement said that the Corporation's own inquiry had
reached similar conclusions to those of the official report. Both
pilots had returned to flying duties after temporary suspension and
loss of seniority.

5th Mar 2012, 11:54
Another BEA Viscount incident I remember reading about was at Brussels in the 1960s.

IIRC there was fog and the Viscount was told to backtrack runway 20 and take off on runway 25 (now 25R). However the aircraft took off on 20 straight towards another Viscount taxiing out.
Neither aircraft saw the other and ATC only realised the mistake when BEA called airborne off 20.

This was a case of mind set when being told to "Backtrack" the non active runway.