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Crash Of BOAC Stratocruiser ~ G-ALSA 25-12-54 ~ Prestwick

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Crash Of BOAC Stratocruiser ~ G-ALSA 25-12-54 ~ Prestwick

Old 5th Sep 2008, 09:04
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Crash Of BOAC Stratocruiser ~ G-ALSA 25-12-54 ~ Prestwick

I'm researching the crash of a BOAC Stratocruiser ~ G-ALSA ~ 25-12-1954 at Prestwick Airport. Does anyone have any information about this incident?
Thank's in anticipation.

Last edited by starshift10; 5th Sep 2008 at 09:29.
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Old 5th Sep 2008, 09:20
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You'll have seen all these?
The National Archives | The Catalogue | Browse

also recently published

BOAC Boeing Stratocruiser G-ALSA
“Cathay”
. P. Berry. Published by the author, 11
Savoy Court, Racecourse Road, Ayr KA7 2XP,
UK. 2002. 15pp. Illustrated.

A concise review of the Boeing Statocruiser’s
safety record, focusing on one particular fatal
accident which occurred at Prestwick on
Christmas Day 1954.
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Old 5th Sep 2008, 09:36
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Crash of BOAC Stratocruiser ~ G-ALSA ~ 25-12-54 ~ Prestwick

Mustpost
Many thanks for such a quick response, information sources most helpful.
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Old 5th Sep 2008, 09:46
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Plenty on Google
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Old 5th Sep 2008, 17:43
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Starshift10

The Times Digital Archive has a number of mentions of this accident from the initial report shown here on 28th December 1954 to others about the attempted recovery of a shipment of diamonds worth around £1,000,000 that were scattered over the crash site.


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Old 5th Sep 2008, 21:06
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Crash of BOAC Stratocruiser ~ G- ALSA ~ Prestwick ~ 25 December 1954

Warmtoast
Thank's for cutting relating to my research.Apparently it was reported that all but 10% of the shipment of diamonds were recovered.
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Old 5th Sep 2008, 22:48
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Another report

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Old 6th Sep 2008, 00:40
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it was reported that all but 10% of the shipment of diamonds were recovered.
...which leaves £100,000 worth of diamonds at 1954 prices possibly still around the crash site. They must be worth a quite a few bob in today's money. Rich pickngs for the treasure hunters should they are ever allowed on the airfield.
(Thinks - as the hardest substance kown to man, can diamonds ever be destroyed by fire?)
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Old 6th Sep 2008, 04:02
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The reports in both The Times and Flight are excellent examples of disaster reporting, brief and to the point, unembellished by the poorly informed speculation of the kind we often read today.
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Old 20th Nov 2008, 18:51
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crash at prestwick dec 25, 1954

Dear Sir,
My father, Capt. William L. Stewart was the pilot of that flight. I remember the incident clearly even though I was six at the time. It was a great tragedy for all involved.
I am in the process of writing a screenplay and the events of that morning are a cornerstone to the lens through which I am writing.
My name is Malcolm Stewart and I am presently in Vancouver, Canada.
I would be happy to share with you any information as I am hoping you can as well.
Sincerely,
Malcolm Stewart
778-863-7704
email
[email protected]
my profession:

Malcolm Stewart (I)

Last edited by maumal; 21st Nov 2008 at 19:30. Reason: wrong business link
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Old 22nd Nov 2008, 09:26
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It would be interesting to know if one of the engines had failed during the approach and the specific propellor could (or would) not feather.

Having flown this old type for a short while, it absolutely does not do well with a windmilling (or runaway) prop.

From personal expereince, long ago, during flight test for specific type mods...very nearly went into the drink, off KSBA.
Not good...
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Old 22nd Nov 2008, 16:01
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I don't think there was any fault with the aircraft in this case.According to various accounts it undershot the runway during a GCA approach in bad weather.

Last edited by renfrew; 22nd Nov 2008 at 16:09. Reason: spelling
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Old 22nd Nov 2008, 17:07
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I was 13 years old when it happened. Our front windows overlooked the airport and I well remember getting up on Christmas morning to see this pall of black smoke coming up from just south of the 31 threshold.

My aviation mates and I got on our bicycles and cycled round the airfield to the vicinity of Shaw Farm. From what I remember, the cockpit broke off on impact and the occupants of that section survived but the rest were sandwiched between two burning wings full of fuel.

I also seem to remember that it was quite some time before it was realised that the industrial diamonds were in the wreckage. I think they were supposed to have been loaded on to a New York bound BOAC Constellation and it was only when it turned up in New York and the diamonds were missing that it was realised that they had in fact been loaded on to G-ALSA.
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Old 23rd Nov 2008, 18:14
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preswick crash

I remember my father saying exactly that...in fact he had one "that windmilled" after crossing the Atlantic and radioed ahead that he had a problem trying to feather the prop. Upon landing it was said that somebody in the tower watching the approach said: "I can't see what the problem is, he's got four good engines and one of them is running bloody well!"
Glad you madee it.
Cheers,
Malcolm Stewart
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Old 23rd Nov 2008, 18:28
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prestwick crash

That was the final determination. Although it might be interesting to note that the runway lights at Prestwick were under repair at the time but BOAC (unlike Pan Am who would not let their crew fly into Preswick with no lights) insisted on the flight going ahead.
My father accepted full responsibility for the flight but as I have not read the transcripts of the 8 days of hearings I cannot say for certain what concerns he he had. I do know that he was far beyond his allowable hours in terms of time on duty because of undercarriage problems forcing him to come back to Heathrow for repairs and that when asked if he wanted to call in another crew at 1 am on Christmas morning he declined. Knowing my father it was because he felt it would be very hard for a crew to be called in at that time on that particular day. A decision that through a terrible event led to much tighter rules regarding time on duty.
Thanks everyone for there contributions
Malcolm Stewart

Last edited by maumal; 24th Nov 2008 at 01:04.
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Old 23rd Nov 2008, 19:46
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"Merchant Airmen" mentions that Captain Stewart was the first British pilot to complete 100 Atlantic crossings in December 1944.
It also recounts a flight he made from Prestwick to Toronto with spares urgently needed by the De Havilland factory producing the Mosquito.

Captain WL "Geordie" Stewart is also mentioned in "Atlantic Bridge" and "Ocean Bridge"
He took part in the second Hudson formation delivery across the Atlantic in November 1940.

Last edited by renfrew; 23rd Nov 2008 at 20:27. Reason: Further info
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Old 24th Nov 2008, 01:03
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prestwick crash

Thanks for this...that is all true, although I did not know about the flight to Toronto with spare parts.
Cheers,
Malcolm Stewart
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Old 10th Jun 2009, 12:38
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G-ALSA

My late father was a navigator with BOAC, and had a knock on the door at home on Christmas Day 1954, and was asked to join a crew to fly to Prestwick with the grim task of bringing some bodies back to Heathrow. Since then we have had a fragment of metal (about an inch across) which I was told by my father was a piece of that aircraft.
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Old 14th Aug 2019, 14:23
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Hello,
I wondered if you also looked at the KLM Connie crash of 1949 near Prestwick? I thought there was also a book or pamphlet, possibly published by the same chap.
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Old 15th Aug 2019, 10:27
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Diamant can certainly burn. Above 600-800 C the carbon will react with O2 and burn to CO2. Diamonts are not forever.
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