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ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 17938
Last updated: 20 September 2021
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Date:22-OCT-1996
Time:21:50 LT
Type:Silhouette image of generic AS55 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Aérospatiale AS 355F1 Ecureuil II
Owner/operator:MGA Aviation / Polo Aviation
Registration: G-CFLT
MSN: 5024
Fatalities:Fatalities: 5 / Occupants: 5
Other fatalities:0
Aircraft damage: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Category:Accident
Location:near Middlewich, Cheshire -   United Kingdom
Phase: En route
Nature:Passenger - Non-Scheduled/charter/Air Taxi
Departure airport:Bolton, Lancashire
Destination airport:Battersea Heliport (EGLW)
Investigating agency: AAIB
Narrative:
On 22 October 1996, Chelsea Football Club Vice Chairman Matthew Harding, together with the pilot Michael Goss, and three others on board - journalist John Bauldie, company director Tony Burridge, and Raymond Deane - were killed when their AS355 F1 Squirrel, registration G-CFLT, crashed at Norcraft Farm, near Middlewich, Cheshire, and caught fire on impact.

Per the official AAIB accident report: "The accident occurred when the helicopter was returning to London from a private landing site in Bolton, Lancashire with one pilot and four passengers on board. The aircraft was being flown at night in visual contact with the ground when the pilot decided to climb to a higher altitude. During the climb he was deprived of external visual references and the aircraft adopted a steep nose-up attitude during which the airspeed reduced below the minimum recommended speed for instrument flight. This unintentional manoeuvre then developed into a fast, spiral descent. The helicopter did not recover from the dive and it crashed into a field on the outskirts of Middlewich, broke up and caught fire. The accident was not survivable and all five occupants were killed."

Sources:

1. https://www.gov.uk/aaib-reports/4-1997-aerospatiale-as355f1-twin-squirrel-g-cflt-22-october-1996
2. http://www.peekhelicopters.co.uk/not_used/helicopter_crashes/matthew_harding/g-cflt_crash_report.pdf
3. http://www.caa.co.uk/aircraft-registration/
4. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eurocopter_AS355#Accidents_and_incidents
5. http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/35069.stm

Accident investigation:
cover
  
Investigating agency: AAIB
Status: Investigation completed
Duration:
Download report: Final report


Revision history:

Date/timeContributorUpdates
17-May-2008 11:10 ASN archive Added
20-Mar-2011 14:58 harro Updated [Operator, Total fatalities, Total occupants, Location, Country, Phase, Source, Damage, Narrative]
20-Oct-2012 09:26 Dr. John Smith Updated [Time, Cn, Operator, Location, Nature, Departure airport, Destination airport, Source, Narrative]
04-Jul-2014 18:07 Dr. John Smith Updated [Time, Operator, Destination airport, Source, Narrative]
21-Sep-2014 15:25 Aerossurance Updated [Aircraft type, Operator, Nature]
01-Jul-2017 14:48 Aerossurance Updated [Location, Destination airport]

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