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Accident description
Last updated: 27 April 2017
Date:Tuesday 2 September 1958
Type:Vickers 621 Viking 1
Operator:Independent Air Travel
Registration: G-AIJE
C/n / msn: 127
First flight: 1946
Crew:Fatalities: 3 / Occupants: 3
Passengers:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 0
Total:Fatalities: 3 / Occupants: 3
Ground casualties:Fatalities: 4
Airplane damage: Damaged beyond repair
Location:5 km (3.1 mls) NE of London Airport (LHR) (   United Kingdom)
Phase: Initial climb (ICL)
Departure airport:London Airport (LHR/EGLL), United Kingdom
Destination airport:Nice-Côte d'Azur Airport (NCE/LFMN), France
The Viking aircraft departed London at 05:54 GMT for a flight to Nice, Brindisi, Athens and Tel Aviv. Some 15 minutes later, engine trouble forced the crew to return to London. Though clearance had been given to descend to 3000 feet, the crew was not able to maintain this altitude and kept descending until it crashed.

Probable Cause:

PROBABLE CAUSE: "The aircraft was allowed to lose height and flying speed with the result that the pilot was no longer able to exercise asymmetric control. The conduct of the pilot and the whole course of events outlined were contributed to by the deliberate policy of this Company, which was to keep its aircraft in the air and gainfully employed regardless of the regulations or of the elementary requirements which should enjoin consideration for the conditions of working of its employees or the maintenance of its aircraft. Any responsibility of the captain is to be viewed in the light of his position as an employee upon whose shoulders an intolerable burden was placed."

» ICAO Accident Digest, Circular 59-AN/54 (202-210)


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photo of Vickers 621 Viking 1 G-AIJE
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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 London Airport to Nice-Côte d'Azur Airport as the crow flies is 1034 km (646 miles).

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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