Narrative:An Airspeed Ambassador, registered G-AMAD, was flying a cargo of 8 horses from Deauville to London. When approaching the runway 28R threshold at London Airport, the left wing suddenly dropped. The wingtip, followed by the left main gear wheels touched the grass to the left of the runway. The crew tried to increase power to go around, but the aircraft flew on with an increasing bank angle. The plane struck two parked BEA HS-121 Trident aircraft, burst into flames, rolled on its back and came to rest against the ground floor of the terminal building.
Trident G-ARPT (msn 2121) was damaged beyond repair; G-APRI had its fin and tailplane destroyed but was repaired.
PROBABLE CAUSE: Failure of the port flap operating rod due to fatigue, permitting the port flaps to retract. This resulted in a rolling moment to port which could not be controlled.
» Aircraft Illustrated Vol.1, nr. 4 (Oct. 1968), p.127
Follow-up / safety actions
Following the accident, all Ambassador planes were fitted with steel reinforcements on their flap rods.
Video, social media
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 Deauville-Saint Gatien Airport to London-Heathrow Airport as the crow flies is 237 km (148 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.