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Last updated: 18 April 2019
Date:Sunday 24 March 1996
Type:Silhouette image of generic VISC model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Vickers 808C Viscount
Operator:British World Airways
Registration: G-OPFE
C/n / msn: 291
First flight: 1958
Crew:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 2
Passengers:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 0
Total:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 2
Aircraft damage: Damaged beyond repair
Location:Belfast International Airport (BFS) (   United Kingdom)
Phase: Landing (LDG)
Departure airport:Belfast International Airport (BFS/EGAA), United Kingdom
Destination airport:Belfast International Airport (BFS/EGAA), United Kingdom
The aircraft took off from runway 07 at 20:35 for the second training flight out of Belfast that night. After some 3-engined approaches to runway 17, the Viscount landed and immediately took off again.
The crew were later cleared to commence a VOR/DME approach to runway 07 for a final landing. The 'Initial Approach' checks were completed 'down to the line'. However, although the first officer at one stage commented that it was a bit early to complete the rest of the 'Initial Approach' checks, there was no evidence that these or the 'Finals' checks were subsequently requested or actioned. The landing gear would normally be selected down during the 'Initial Approach, below the line' checks and confirmed during the 'Finals' checks. As the throttles were retarded in the flare, the gear warning horn was heard on the CVR, followed within 2 seconds by sounds of the propellers contacting the runway surface. After coming to a stop on the runway, the crew secured and evacuated the aircraft.

Probable Cause:

The AAIB did not conduct a full formal investigation. The AAIB Bulletin report did not contain a Probable Cause.

Accident investigation:
Investigating agency: AAIB
Status: Investigation completed
Duration: 69 days (2 months)
Accident number: AAIB Bulletin 6/96
Download report: Final report

» Scramble 204 (p.50)

Follow-up / safety actions
Safety recommendation 96-20:

"The gear warning system on G-OPFE was not as described in the current Operations Manual for the Airline. Additionally, and of greater significance, the degree of pre-warning afforded by the system in G-OPFE was ineffective in that the pilot was only actively warned that his gear was not down and locked when he retarded the throttle for his landing flare. While accepting that the accurate accomplishment of checks would ensure that the aircraft is in the correct configuration, the present warning is of debatable value.

It is therefore recommended that the CAA ensure that Viscount aircraft have a system to warn the crew, in sufficient time to take effective action, that all landing gear legs are not fully locked down and that Operations Manuals to which they apply fully reflect the standard of the aircraft."


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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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