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Aircraft crash: Fact or Faulty memory?

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Aircraft crash: Fact or Faulty memory?

Old 3rd Mar 2018, 08:28
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Aircraft crash: Fact or Faulty memory?

For the whole of my adult life I have carried the memory of a horrible aircraft accident in my head, but now I come to research it I can find no information that confirms it ever happened - to the point I am beginning to think it may have been a dream.

The 'facts' as I recall them are as follows.
1) It happened in the 'fifties at Heathrow.
2) It was captured on film. It involved an aircraft with three vertical stabilisers, (I have always 'assumed' it to be a Constellation but that's not a 'fact')
3) The aircraft veered sharply off course at low altitude and struck the Queens building

Any information welcome, thank you.
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Old 3rd Mar 2018, 08:42
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This might have been Airspeed Ambassador G-AMAD of Autair International (although the accident was 3rd of July 1968 rather than 1950s.) The port flap actuator suffered a fatigue failure when the aircraft was on final approach causing the flap to retract and the aircraft to roll into the ground.

I will check for other candidates when I have more time.
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Old 3rd Mar 2018, 08:43
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You're probably thinking of this one in the 60's:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1968_H...bassador_crash
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Old 3rd Mar 2018, 08:50
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Old 3rd Mar 2018, 08:55
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Wow thank you all! You have nailed it already, that footage from Dave Reid confirms 100% what I remember ( although my memory was mirrored, flying in from the left)
Strange thing the brain, but glad mine hasn't totally lost the plot, even though date and plane were wildly out! Thank you once again. EDIT: I think the second clip is how it was shown on TV, the first is a miror image I believe!

Last edited by Ralph2; 3rd Mar 2018 at 08:57. Reason: additional comment
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Old 3rd Mar 2018, 09:05
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As indicated above, the accident must have been the tragic demise of Ambassador G-AMAD and most on board, back in July 1968.

I remember it very well, being on duty at LHR and arriving on the scene just minutes afterwards.

Two YouTube clips, but one being reverse-transposed right to left.




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Old 3rd Mar 2018, 09:11
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Thanks DaveReidUK, beat me to it! Don't you even take Saturdays off?
Cheers.
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Old 3rd Mar 2018, 14:31
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This might have been Airspeed Ambassador G-AMAD of Autair International
It wasn't Autair. It was BKS.
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Old 3rd Mar 2018, 18:27
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Yes, it was BKS not Autair and landing 28R so the first video is reversed.

I was in Luton Tower when the caused became known. Someone called, AAIB? whatever CAA where in those days? We had an Autair Ambassador inbound and he was instructed to land flapless with a Full Emergency standing by.
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Old 4th Mar 2018, 08:19
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Yes it was carrying horse as the Wiki item says. Also it was the operating rod on one side that fatigue failed. Thats why only one side retracted as the actuator failing would have probably let both sides retract.
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Old 4th Mar 2018, 08:40
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Originally Posted by GotTheTshirt View Post
Yes it was carrying horse as the Wiki item says. Also it was the operating rod on one side that fatigue failed. Thats why only one side retracted as the actuator failing would have probably let both sides retract.
Yes, the relative positions of the port and starboard actuators were synchronised by means of a cable arrangement to ensure flap symmetry, but that was not designed to mitigate the failure of an operating rod as that eventuality was considered to be extremely remote.

Copy of the AAIB Accident Report here (P121-129):

ICAO Aircraft Accident Digest No 18 Volume II
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Old 4th Mar 2018, 19:02
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When that Ambassador crashed it hit two parked BEA Tridents. One of them was G-ARPI which was repaired but crashed at Staines after takeoff 4 years later.
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