Accident Sud Aviation SE-210 Caravelle III HB-ICT,
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Date:Wednesday 25 April 1962
Type:Silhouette image of generic S210 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different    
Sud Aviation SE-210 Caravelle III
Registration: HB-ICT
MSN: 122
Year of manufacture:1962
Fatalities:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 72
Aircraft damage: Substantial, repaired
Location:Zürich-Kloten Airport (ZRH) -   Switzerland
Phase: Landing
Nature:Passenger - Scheduled
Departure airport:Genève-Cointrin Airport (GVA/LSGG)
Destination airport:Paris (unknown airport)
Confidence Rating: Information verified through data from accident investigation authorities
The aircraft arrived in Geneva, Switzerland from Paris, France, on 24 April 1962 and was towed to the Swissair hangar for a K-check and to be made ready for a flight to Paris next morning. That evening a student, who was designing a nose wheel chassis, went to the hangar where the foreman of the 19:00 to 04:00-hour shift gave him data on the Caravelle lauding gear. They then went to HB-ICT. The foreman opened the control doors and main door of the nosewheel chassis so that the student could take pictures and than returned to his office. The student completed his inspection, without interfering with anything, and left. The foreman did not close the doors, gave no orders for them to be closed nor did no mention what had to be done to anyone else. The mechanic, who was checking the aircraft, reported between 22:00 and 23:00 hours that he had completed the K-check. He did not check the undercarriage doors as he did not think he was obliged to. The foreman of the next shift (04:00 hours) assumed, as he had no information to the contrary, that HB-ICT had only to undergo a V-check (before every take-off) and be refuelled prior to take-off. No one noticed that the main door and two control doors had been left open. The V-check was begun on the ramp at 07:15 hours, and the oo-pilot made the external checks. Again the abnormal position of the nose wheel well doors was unnoticed. After the engines had been started, the ramp mechanic tried to close the main door of the nose wheel compartment by hand. He could not. Not understanding the mechanism, and presuming its position to be normal, believed the door would automatically close in the air, with the retraction of the landing gear. The deputy chief of the runway service asked him whether the main door was in order and was satisfied with the reply that the doors would close in the air.
Flight SR142, a scheduled international flight from Geneva to Paris, took off shortly after 07:35 hours, carrying 6 crew and 66 passengers. Following take-off the nose landing gear jammed when almost fully retracted. The pilot decided to return to Geneva but was instructed, by Swissair operations control, to proceed to Zurich for technical reasons. The aircraft arrived over Zurich at 08:27 hours.
Further unsuccessful attempts were made to extend the nose gear. At 09:05, Swissair asked for a foam carpet on instrument runway 16 between taxiways 3 and 7. Foam spraying began at 09:17. When about half of the required runway length had been prepared, the operation was discontinued as the aircraft's fuel supply was running low. At 09:56 the aircraft touched down 400 - 600 m from the runway threshold at a speed of 100 kt. The drag chute was released immediately. The pilot carefully rotated the nose of the aircraft and the nose grazed the runway surface 1175 m from the threshold at a speed of 80 kt. The aircraft rolled 740 m further and came to rest on the foam carpet 1915 m from the runway threshold.
During the landing roll a fire broke out in the compartment under the flight deck.

Probable Causes: "The night before the accident one of the maintenance staff interfered with the door mechanism of the nose landing gear for reasons unrelated to the servicing of the aircraft. This interference resulted in the jamming of the nose gear in the nearly retracted position shortly after take-off, which in turn resulted in an emergency landing."


History of this aircraft

Other occurrences involving this aircraft
21 November 1971 B-1852 China Airlines 25 near Penghu Island w/o


photo (c) ETH-Bibliothek Zürich, Bildarchiv / Swissair; Zürich-Kloten Airport (ZRH); 25 April 1962; (CC:by-sa)

photo (c) ETH-Bibliothek Zürich, Bildarchiv / Swissair; Zürich-Kloten Airport (ZRH); 25 April 1962; (CC:by-sa)

Revision history:


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