ASN Aircraft accident Shorts S.45 Solent 3 G-AKNU Chessel Down
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Status:Accident investigation report completed and information captured
Date:Friday 15 November 1957
Type:Silhouette image of generic ss45 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Shorts S.45 Solent 3
Operator:Aquila Airways
Registration: G-AKNU
MSN: S.1299
First flight:
Crew:Fatalities: 8 / Occupants: 8
Passengers:Fatalities: 37 / Occupants: 50
Total:Fatalities: 45 / Occupants: 58
Aircraft damage: Damaged beyond repair
Location:Chessel Down (   United Kingdom)
Phase: Approach (APR)
Nature:International Scheduled Passenger
Departure airport:Southampton water, United Kingdom
Destination airport:Lisboa-Cabo Ruivo Seaplane Base, Portugal
The Aquila Airways Solent flying boat departed Southampton at 22:46 for a flight to Lisbon and Madeira. At 22:54 the crew radioed that the number 4 propeller had been feathered. While trying to return, the Solent crashed into the face of a quarry between Chessel and Brook. At impact the aircraft was banked 45 degrees to the right.

Probable Cause:

PROBABLE CAUSE: "The accident was caused by the stoppage of the No.3 engine at a time when the No.4 engine was stopped. The cause of the stoppage of the No.4 engine is unknown. The cause of the stoppage of the No.3 engine was either an electrical failure in the fuel cut-off actuator circuit or the accidental operation of the cut-off switch."


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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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Short S.45

  • 22 built
  • 4th loss
  • 2nd fatal accident
  • The worst accident
» safety profile

 United Kingdom
  • 2nd worst accident (at the time)
  • 8th worst accident (currently)
» safety profile

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