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ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 18963
Last updated: 24 June 2018
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Time:09:51 GMT
Type:Silhouette image of generic PA31 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Piper PA-31-350 Chieftain
Owner/operator:Air Navigation & Trading Co Ltd
Registration: G-BMBC
C/n / msn: 31-7952172
Fatalities:Fatalities: 5 / Occupants: 5
Other fatalities:0
Aircraft damage: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Location:Mersey Estuary, west of Runway 09 threshold at Liverpool Airport -   United Kingdom
Phase: Approach
Departure airport:Ronaldsway/Isle of Man airport (EGNS/IOM)
Destination airport:Liverpool Airport, Speke, Liverpool (LPL/EGGP)
The aircraft, operated by an Air Operator's Certificate holder, was engaged on an air ambulance operation from Ronaldsway in the Isle of Man to Liverpool. Having flown under VFR on a direct track to the Seaforth dock area of Liverpool the pilot flew by visual reference along the northern coast of the Mersey Estuary to carry out a visual approach to Runway 09 at Liverpool. During the turn on to the final approach, when approximately 0.8 nm from the threshold and 0.38 nm south of the extended centreline, the aircraft flew into the sea and disappeared.

At 0950:30 hrs the tower controller asked the pilot of 'BC' to confirm his current position. He received no reply and, at 0951:50 hrs, having received no reply to subsequent attempts to contact the aircraft, the tower controller activated the crash alarm.

An instructor and student pilot, who had been carrying out a hover training exercise in a Robinson R22 helicopter near to the threshold of Runway 09, were requested to proceed to the area by the tower controller.

They flew over the gantry supporting the approach lights (which were illuminated) for Runway 09 and after a few moments spotted some wreckage in the sea. The helicopter hovered above the wreckage that consisted of a pair of landing gear wheels, a small window, some personal items and pieces of paper surrounded by an oil slick. There was no sign of survivors. The R22 helicopter remained on station until replaced by the police helicopter that is based at the airfield. As he departed the scene, the R22 pilot noticed the arrival of the first inshore lifeboat.

The AAIB investigation concluded that the pilot lost control of the aircraft at a late stage of the approach due either to disorientation, distraction, incapacitation, or a combination of these conditions.

Registration G-BMBC cancelled by the CAA on 21/2/2001 as aircraft "destroyed"


1. NTSB Identification: CHI00WA163 at
2. CAA:
3. AAIB:

Revision history:

17-May-2008 11:10 ASN archive Added
23-Nov-2012 14:27 Dr. John Smith Updated [Time, Operator, Location, Phase, Nature, Departure airport, Destination airport, Source, Narrative]
24-May-2013 23:34 Dr. John Smith Updated [Source, Narrative]
16-Oct-2017 14:46 Dr. John Smith Updated [Departure airport, Source]
16-Oct-2017 14:48 Dr. John Smith Updated [Time, Source]
16-Oct-2017 14:49 Dr. John Smith Updated [Source]

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