Accident description
Last updated: 22 December 2014
Status:
Date:Thursday 1 September 1966
Time:00:47
Type:Bristol 175 Britannia 102
Operator:Britannia Airways
Registration: G-ANBB
C/n / msn: 12903
First flight: 1954
Total airframe hrs:18444
Cycles:5380
Crew:Fatalities: 6 / Occupants: 7
Passengers:Fatalities: 92 / Occupants: 110
Total:Fatalities: 98 / Occupants: 117
Airplane damage: Damaged beyond repair
Location:3 km (1.9 mls) SE of Ljubljana-Brnik Airport (LJU) (   Slovenia) show on map
Phase: Approach (APR)
Nature:Int'l Non Scheduled Passenger
Departure airport:London-Luton Airport (LTN/EGGW), United Kingdom
Destination airport:Ljubljana-Brnik Airport (LJU/LJLJ), Slovenia
Flightnumber: 105
Narrative:
The Britannia aircraft approached Ljubljana runway 31 at night when it crashed into trees.

PROBABLE CAUSE: "The probable cause of the accident was that the pilot-in-command did not set his altimeter to the QFE-968 mb in accordance with the information passed by the controller. However, the whole approach to the airport was made as if the altimeter had been set to the QFE, and resulted in the approach being about 1250ft lower than procedural safety altitudes, so that the aircraft's approach was too low, because although it was a moonlight night he could not distinguish any visual land marks, which might have warned him of the low altitude, due to the nature of the trees covered terrain over which they were flying. As the altimeter error passed unnoticed by both pilots and because they were not carrying out cross-checks of the two altimeters in accordance with the relevant operations manual instruction attachment No. 15, the error was not corrected by climbing to a safe altitude.
This disregard of the procedure laid down in the check lists and operations manual for approach and landing may be explained by the fact that the approach was carried out on a moonlight night in calm weather and with visibility of approximately 12nm, which reduced the crew's concentration on precisely following the prescribed procedures and checks.
The visual effect of the runway slope made the situation worse, giving the pilots a wrong impression of the aircraft's approach angle. The co-pilot's altimeter was found set at 1005,5 mb. The difference between the QNH and QFE passed to the aircraft was approximately equivalent to 1000ft. A figure which might have led to further confusion."

Classification:
Controlled Flight Into Terrain (CFIT) - Ground

Sources:
» Flight International 19.12.1968 (1018)
» ICAO Circular 88-AN/74 Volume II (124-133)


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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 London-Luton Airport to Ljubljana-Brnik Airport as the crow flies is 1237 km (773 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.
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Bristol Britannia

  • 8th loss
  • 85 built
  • worst accident (at the time)
  • 2nd worst accident (currently)
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 Slovenia
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