Narrative:British Midland Airways Flight 092 took off from London-Heathrow Airport at 19:52 for a flight to Belfast. Some 13 minutes later, while climbing through FL283, moderate to severe vibration was felt, accompanied by a smell of fire in the cockpit. The outer panel of one of the no. 1 engine fan blades detached, causing compressor stalls and airframe shuddering. Believing the No. 2 engine had been damaged the crew throttled it back. The shuddering stopped and the No 2 engine was shut down. The crew then decided to divert to East Midlands. The flight was cleared for a runway 27 approach. At 900 feet, 2.4nm from the runway, no. 1 engine power suddenly decreased. As the speed fell below 125 knots, the stick shaker activated and the aircraft struck trees at a speed of 115 knots. The aircraft continued and impacted the western carriageway of the M1 motorway 10 m lower and came to rest against the wooded embankment, 900 m short of the runway.
PROBABLE CAUSE: "The operating crew shut down the No 2 engine after a fan blade had fractured in the No 1 engine. This engine subsequently suffered a major thrust loss due to secondary fan damage after power had been increased during the final approach to land. The following factors contributed to the incorrect response of the flight crew: 1. The combination of heavy engine vibration, noise, shuddering and an associated smell of fire were outside their training and experience; 2. They reacted to the initial engine problem prematurely and in a way that was contrary to their training; 3. They did not assimilate the indications on the engine instrument display before they throttled back the No. 2 engine; 4. As the No 2 engine was throttled back, the noise and shuddering associated with the surging of the No 1 engine ceased, persuading them that they had correctly identified the defective engine; 5. They were not informed of the flames which had emanated from the No.1 engine and which had been observed by many on board, including 3 cabin attendants in the aft cabin."
Shutdown of wrong engine
Forced landing outside airport
» ICAO Adrep Summary 3/91 (#9)
» ICAO Circular 262-AN/156 (1-75)
Official accident investigation report
Follow-up / safety actions
Seat positions of survivors and fatalities.
Final flight path
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-Heathrow Airport to Belfast International Airport as the crow flies is 518 km (324 miles).