Narrative:The Avro York was being used to carry RAF personnel and their families to Habbaniyah (Iraq) via Malta. The main runway at Stansted was closed due to reconstruction work. A temporary runway parallel (5700 feet long) to the main runway was composed of the former taxiway with the addition of a strip on either side. During the takeoff run, at 300yds down the runway, the aircraft made a violent swing to the right. The captain decided to abort and closed the throttles; the no. 1 throttle, which was not fully closed, was pulled back by the first officer. The aircraft then ran off the side of the runway at a speed of about 45 knots. When it crossed a drain located 25 feet from the side of the runway, the undercarriage collapsed.
PROBABLE CAUSE: "An over-correction of the portward course of the aircraft possibly accompanied by some application of the starboard brake caused the aircraft to swing starboard off the runway and to encounter the 'French' drain with the resulting failure of the undercarriage. The over-correction by the pilot, whether or not accompanied by some application of the starboard brake, should be termed a grave error of judgement and skill rather than a wrongful act or default."
» ICAO Accident Digest No.8, Circular 54-AN/49 (78-81)
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 London-Stansted Airport to Malta-Luqa Airport as the crow flies is 2093 km (1308 miles).
This information is not presented as the Flight Safety Foundation or the Aviation Safety Networkĺs opinion as to the cause of the accident. It is preliminary and is based on the facts as they are known at this time.