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Last updated: 14 December 2019
Status:Final
Date:Friday 17 December 1965
Time:22:40 UTC
Type:Silhouette image of generic DC3 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Douglas C-47B-25-DK (DC-3)
Operator:Skyways Coach Air
Registration: G-AMWX
C/n / msn: 32594/15846
First flight: 1945
Total airframe hrs:12815
Engines: 2 Pratt & Whitney R-1830-90C
Crew:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 3
Passengers:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 29
Total:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 32
Aircraft damage: Destroyed
Aircraft fate: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Location:Le Tréport (   France)
Phase: Landing (LDG)
Nature:International Scheduled Passenger
Departure airport:Beauvais-Tillé Airport (BVA/LFOB), France
Destination airport:London-Gatwick Airport (LGW/EGKK), United Kingdom
Flightnumber: 316
Narrative:
One hour after take-off from Beauvais, France, for a scheduled night passenger flight to London-Gatwick Airport, the aircraft reported over Lydd at FL60. Shortly afterwards there was a complete failure of the aircraft's radio communications and radio navigational equipment. The crew were unable to locate or remedy the cause of the failure and, in view of the navigational difficulties posed by low cloud over S.E. England, the captain decided to return to Beauvais where conditions were thought to be better. The aircraft
then descended through cloud over the English Channel, and the flight continued in visual contact over the sea.
About 1 hour after the failure occurred, the lights of a town on the French coast were sighted. After flying up and down the coast for some time, the crew were unable to establish the aircraft' s position and, rather than attempt to continue the flight overland in the poor weather conditions obtaining, the captain decided to ditch the aircraft in the surf near the lights of the town, which proved to be Le Tréport.
After circling the area for about 40 minutes, during which time the passengers were briefed and prepared for the ditching, a successful wheels-up alighting was made obliquely towards the beach, and the aircraft came to rest in shallow water about 50 yards off-shore. The passengers and crew waded ashore safely, the aircraft later breaking up, as a result of the action of the tide and the waves, before it could be salvaged.

Probable Cause:

Probable cause:
(a) The design of the aircraft's electrical installation in which no provision was made to, prevent the total interruption of radio communication and radio navigation in the event of a failure at the level of the single main supply fuse.
(b) The failure of the main supply fuse probably of insufficient rating and the fact that the crew was not able to rectify the failure.
(c) The inadequate attention paid by the crew to its dead reckoning navigation, both before and after the radio failure.

Classification:
Electrical system problem
Ditching

Sources:
» ICAO Circular 88-AN/74 Volume III (145-152)
» Accidents to Aircraft - A United Kingdom Survey for the year ended 31 st December 1965 / Ministry of Aviation


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Map
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 Beauvais-Tillé Airport to London-Gatwick Airport as the crow flies is 248 km (155 miles).
Accident location: Approximate; accuracy within a few kilometers.

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