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Last updated: 25 September 2018
Date:Friday 11 July 1969
Type:Silhouette image of generic HERN model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
de Havilland DH-114 Heron 1B
Registration: TN-ABA
C/n / msn: 14034
First flight: 1953
Total airframe hrs:16723
Engines: 4 de Havilland Gipsy Queen 30-2
Crew:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 1
Passengers:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 0
Total:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 1
Aircraft damage: Damaged beyond repair
Location:Ruddervoorde (   Belgium)
Phase: En route (ENR)
Departure airport:Charleroi-Gosselies Airport (CRL/EBCI), Belgium
Destination airport:London-Gatwick Airport (LGW/EGKK), United Kingdom
The accident aircraft arrived at Charleroi-Gosselies Airport (CRL), Belgium, on January 24, 1969 after a flight from D.R. Congo.
It had operated in D.R. Congo on behalf of Cogeair for about eight months.
The Heron was parked at Gosselies until July 11, 1969, when it was going to be ferried to London-Gatwick Airport. According to documents on the airplane it had been issued a temporary certificate of registration in Congo as TN-ABA on June 5, 1969.
Congolese authorities however disputed the authenticity of the document.
The airplane departed at 15:51 hours local time. At 16:34 engine no. 4 started vibrating heavily. The pilot shut down the engine. Soon after engine no. 3 began emitting smoke and caught fire. The pilot shut down the engine but the prop failed to feather.
The airplane lost altitude and the pilot decided to carry out a forced landed in a field. It touched some trees and came to rest in a field.

Probable Cause:

CAUSE (translated from Dutch):
The cause of the accident is due to jamming in flight of two engines. The initial cause of this jamming is most likely due to non-compliance with the procedure prescribed by the manufacturer for the start-up after a somewhat long standstill of the engines.

Accident investigation:
Investigating agency: Ministerie van Verkeerswezen, Cel voor Onderzoek van Luchtvaartongevallen- en incidenten
Status: Investigation completed
Accident number: Final report
Download report: Final report


Forced landing outside airport


photo of de Havilland DH-114 Heron 1B TN-ABA
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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 Charleroi-Gosselies Airport to London-Gatwick Airport as the crow flies is 333 km (208 miles).
Accident location: Approximate; accuracy within a few kilometers.

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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