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ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 180593
Last updated: 19 August 2019
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Date:17-NOV-1979
Time:04:48 UTC
Type:Silhouette image of generic PA34 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Piper PA-34-200T Seneca II
Owner/operator:Charles G. Strasser t/a Skycabs
Registration: G-BFKO
C/n / msn: 34-7770349
Fatalities:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 2
Other fatalities:0
Aircraft damage: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Location:Beaulieu Heath, 3 Miles west of Fawley Refinery, Hampshire -   United Kingdom
Phase: Approach
Nature:Ambulance
Departure airport:Manchester Airport (MAN/EGCC)
Destination airport:Lee-on-Solent (EGHF)
Narrative:
Written off (damaged beyond repair) 17/11/1979 when crashed at Beaulieu Heath, 3 Miles west of Fawley Refinery, Hampshire (at 50 degrees 45 minutes North, 25 degrees 46 minutes West) during a night approach to Lee-on-Solent Airfield, Hampshire. Both persons on board (pilot and one passenger) were injured. The aircraft was engaged in a "mercy flight" carrying an urgently needed human kidney from Manchester to Lee-on-Solent to allow a transplant operation to be carried out at a Hospital in Southampton. According to the following extract from the official AAIB report into the accident:

"The accident occourred at night during an approach to land at Lee-on-Solent after a flight from Manchester. On the first approach, the aircraft descended to 500 feet on the ILS (Instrument Landing System) and then overshot. The pilot later report his position as over the LS non-directional radio beacon (NDB) at the ILS outer marker.

He then attempted to make a second ILS approach, during which the aircraft crashed in thick fog, at Beaulieu Heath, Hampshire, approximately 9 nautical miles west of Lee-on-Solent. The two occupants of the aircraft were uninjured.

The accident was caused by the commander permitting the aircraft to descend below a safe height without having established visual reference. Probable contributary factors were fatigue, the passing of an incorrect cloud base to the commander, an unidentified radio transmission on or neat the frequency of the outer marker NDB, and the commander's attempts to follow false ILS back course signals".

Damage sustained to airframe: The left wing was detached from the fuselage, which was only slightly damaged. All the landing gear units were broken. Presumably, this damage was enough to render the airframe as "damaged beyond repair" as the registration G-BFKO was cancelled by the CAA as "P.W.F.U." ("Permanently Withdrawn From Use") but not until 23/2/1982 - three years later.

Sources:

1. AAIB: https://assets.digital.cabinet-office.gov.uk/media/5422fed7ed915d13710009d7/7-1980_G-BFKO.pdf
2. CAA: https://www.caa.co.uk/docs/HistoricalMaterial/G-BFKO.pdf
3. "From Refugee to OBE" By Charles G. Strasser pages 182-187 (Note that Mr. Strasser's account of the accident differs from, and disagrees with, the official AAIB report!)
4. http://www.planetrace.co.uk/1970-1979_30.html
5. http://www.hampshireairfields.co.uk/hancrash.html


Revision history:

Date/timeContributorUpdates
22-Oct-2015 19:38 Dr.John Smith Added
22-Oct-2015 19:39 Dr.John Smith Updated [Narrative]
22-Oct-2015 19:42 Dr.John Smith Updated [Narrative]
22-Oct-2015 19:48 Dr.John Smith Updated [Narrative]

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