Accident description
Last updated: 2 September 2014
Status:Final
Date:Wednesday 21 September 1955
Time:22:23 UTC
Type:Canadair C-4 Argonaut
Operator:British Overseas Airways Corporation - BOAC
Registration: G-ALHL
C/n / msn: 158
First flight:
Engines: 4 Rolls-Royce Merlin 622
Crew:Fatalities: 2 / Occupants: 7
Passengers:Fatalities: 13 / Occupants: 40
Total:Fatalities: 15 / Occupants: 47
Airplane damage: Damaged beyond repair
Location:Tripoli-Idris Airport (TIP) (   Libya) show on map
Phase: Approach (APR)
Nature:International Scheduled Passenger
Departure airport:Roma-Ciampino Airport (CIA/LIRA), Italy
Destination airport:Tripoli-Idris Airport (TIP/HLLT), Libya
Narrative:
The Argonaut had taken off from London for a flight to Kano. Following a scheduled stop at Rome, the aircraft continued to Tripoli. Visibility was poor at Tripoli and strong winds existed as the aircraft approached the airfield. The first three attempts to land had to be rejected. On the fourth attempt to land, the aircraft descended too low and struck trees some 1200 feet short of runway 11. A crash followed.

PROBABLE CAUSE: "The accident was a result of an error of judgement on the part of the captain who having made three unsuccessful attempts to line-up and land on runway 11 on his fourth attempt allowed his desire to keep the runway lights in view to effect his judgement, in that during a visual approach to the runway he failed to make adequate reference to his flight instruments. In the restricted visibility the runway lights gave him insufficient guidance as to attitude, height and angle of approach and unknowingly he permitted the aircraft to descend below its correct approach path."

Sources:
» ICAO Accident Digest Circular 50-AN/45 (183-187)


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Map
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 Roma-Ciampino Airport to Tripoli-Idris Airport as the crow flies is 1010 km (631 miles).

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Canadair C-4

  • 9th loss
  • 71 built
  • 2nd worst accident (at the time)
  • 5th worst accident (currently)
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 Libya
  • 2nd worst accident (at the time)
  • 10th worst accident (currently)
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