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Accident description
Last updated: 21 July 2017
Date:Monday 2 February 1953
Time:05:31 UTC
Type:Avro 685 York I
Registration: G-AHFA
C/n / msn: 1304
First flight: 1946
Engines: 4 Rolls-Royce Merlin 502
Crew:Fatalities: 6 / Occupants: 6
Passengers:Fatalities: 33 / Occupants: 33
Total:Fatalities: 39 / Occupants: 39
Airplane damage: Missing
Airplane fate: Presumed damaged beyond repair
Location:ca 500 km E off Newfoudland, Canada (   Atlantic Ocean)
Phase: En route (ENR)
Nature:Int'l Non Scheduled Passenger
Departure airport:Terceira-Lajes Airport, Azores (TER/LPLA), Portugal
Destination airport:Gander Airport, NF (YQX/CYQX), Canada
Avro York G-AHFA was on a trooping flight from Stansted to Jamaica when it took off from Lajes AFB, Azores at 23:25 for a flight across the Atlantic Ocean to Gander. Weather conditions were considered favourable for the flight. The radio operator transmitted approximately hourly position reports. Last radio contact was at 05:31 when an SOS-call was received by Gander. Last position was Lat 46deg 15'N Long 46deg 31'W.
An area of 68000 square miles was searched but no trace of the aircraft was found.

During the investigation it was noted that the flight was supposed to have a minumum of 9 hours rest after 9 hours of flying. Arriving at Lajes, the crew had been on duty at least 9 hours. The turn-around took just over 4 hours during which time it is unlikely that the crew had any time for recuperative rest. At the time of the emergency the crew had been on duty for over 19 hours.
The investators recommended that an in-depth study be undertaken with regards to crew fatigue.

Probable Cause:

Cause: Unascertainable.

Accident investigation:
investigating agency: Accidents Investigation Branch (AIB) - United Kingdom
status: Final
number: Final report
released:16 November 1953
duration: 287 days (10 months)
download report: Final report


» ICAO Accident Digest Circular 39-AN/34 (29-33)


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This map shows the airport of departure and the intended destination of the flight. The line between the airports does not display the exact flight path.
Distance from Terceira-Lajes Airport, Azores to Gander Airport, NF as the crow flies is 2441 km (1526 miles).

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