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Last updated: 21 April 2019
Status:Final
Date:Friday 26 June 1981
Time:18:11
Type:Silhouette image of generic A748 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Hawker Siddeley HS-748-108 Srs. 2A
Operator:Dan-Air Services
Registration: G-ASPL
C/n / msn: 1560
First flight: 1964
Total airframe hrs:34592
Engines: 2 Rolls-Royce Dart 533-2
Crew:Fatalities: 3 / Occupants: 3
Passengers:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 0
Total:Fatalities: 3 / Occupants: 3
Aircraft damage: Destroyed
Aircraft fate: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Location:Nailstone (   United Kingdom)
Phase: En route (ENR)
Nature:Cargo
Departure airport:London-Gatwick Airport (LGW/EGKK), United Kingdom
Destination airport:East Midlands Airport (EMA/EGNX), United Kingdom
Flightnumber:240
Narrative:
The aircraft was engaged on a mail carrying freight flight from London-Gatwick Airport to East Midlands Airport, U.K. During the initial descent in preparation for landing at its destination, the attendant in the cabin reported that the mechanical indicators on one of the cabin doors were showing an unlocked condition. Shortly afterwards the right hand rear door (baggage door) came open, detached from its hinge mountings and became lodged on the leading edge of the right horizontal tailplane. The aircraft became uncontrollable and went into an increasingly steep dive which t.elluinated in several abrupt pitch oscillations. Both the mainplanes and the horizontal tailplanes were subjected to overstressing in upload which resulted in their detachment from the fuselage.

Probable Cause:

CAUSE: "The accident was caused by the baggage door becoming lodged on. the leading edge of the right tailplane after it had opened and detached in flight. This produced changes in the aerodynamic characteristics of the aircraft which rendered it uncontrollable resulting in overstressing of the wings and tailplane leading to an in-flight structural failure.
A contributory factor was the mis-rigged state of the door operating mechanism which allowed the top and the bottom pairs of claw catches to lose synchronisation. The failure of the door warning arrangements to give adequate warning of door safety was a further contributory factor."

Accident investigation:
cover
Investigating agency: AIB
Status: Investigation completed
Duration: 2 years and 4 months
Accident number: AAR 5/1983
Download report: Final report

Classification:
Cargo door failure
Loss of control

Sources:
» Flight International 25 July 1981 (210)
» Flight International 04 July 1981 (2)


Photos

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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 London-Gatwick Airport to East Midlands Airport as the crow flies is 201 km (126 miles).
Accident location: Exact; deduced from official accident report.

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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