ASN Aircraft accident Handley Page HP.81 Hermes IVA G-ALDJ Blackbushe Airport (BBS)
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Status:Accident investigation report completed and information captured
Date:Monday 5 November 1956
Type:Silhouette image of generic hphm model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Handley Page HP.81 Hermes IVA
Registration: G-ALDJ
MSN: HP.81/11
First flight: 1950
Crew:Fatalities: 3 / Occupants: 6
Passengers:Fatalities: 4 / Occupants: 74
Total:Fatalities: 7 / Occupants: 80
Aircraft damage: Damaged beyond repair
Location:near Blackbushe Airport (BBS) (   United Kingdom)
Phase: Approach (APR)
Nature:Int'l Non Scheduled Passenger
Departure airport:Tripoli-Idris Airport (TIP/HLLT), Libya
Destination airport:Blackbushe Airport (BBS/EGLK), United Kingdom
The Britavia Hermes was on a flight from Blackbushe to Tripoli and back with intermediate stops on the way to Tripoli at Malta, for a crew change, and Cyprus. Rest period at Tripoli for the Malta-crew was reduced because of late (5 hours) arrival of the aircraft. The aircraft took off from Tripoli at 15:25. At 23:36 the aircraft was cleared to the Blackbushe beacon at 2000 feet. Planning a runway 08 approach, the crew reported passing the beacon at 2000 feet at 23:44 and completed the procedure turn at 1500 feet two minutes later. After passing the Outer Marker, the flight was cleared to land. The aircraft descended below the ILS glide slope and hit a beech tree 3617 feet short of the runway threshold, swung to the left and came down in pine trees 3000 feet further on.

Probable Cause:

PROBABLE CAUSE: "The most probable cause of the accident is that in difficult conditions and while suffering from a degree of fatigue above the normal, the captain, relying on his vision of the airport lights to assess his height, judged his height to be higher than it actually was."

Insufficient rest / fatigue
Controlled Flight Into Terrain (CFIT) - Ground

» ICAO Accident Digest No.8, Circular 54-AN/49 (138-147)


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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 Tripoli-Idris Airport to Blackbushe Airport as the crow flies is 2351 km (1470 miles).
Accident location: Exact; deduced from official accident report.

This information is not presented as the Flight Safety Foundation or the Aviation Safety Network’s opinion as to the cause of the accident. It is preliminary and is based on the facts as they are known at this time.
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