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Trident G-ARPI 40 Years Ago Today  
User currently offlineRebelDJ From United Kingdom, joined May 2007, 114 posts, RR: 0
Posted (2 years 6 months 1 week 5 days 11 hours ago) and read 10284 times:

The aircraft crashed on take-off from Heathrow due to a stall after failing to maintain airspeed.

My lasting memory of this as a kid in London was seeing news reports of crowds descending on the scene to have a good ol' look. An insight into some human nature!

http://aviation-safety.net/database/record.php?id=19720618-0

22 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlinecedarjet From United Kingdom, joined May 1999, 8201 posts, RR: 54
Reply 1, posted (2 years 6 months 1 week 5 days 10 hours ago) and read 10135 times:

A guy I used to work for was an ex-copper and one of the first on the scene. It actually took a little while - minutes, certainly - to find the wreck, despite crashing on the outskirts of one of Europe's biggest cities, in among housing estates, motorways, industrial parks etc. Possibly a massive mushroom cloud and fire would have helped but there was no post-crash fire (although a fire did break out much later, quickly quelled by emergency services by then in attendance).

The guy said it was very creepy because the scene was completely silent, just him and a couple of kids and a woman from nearby houses and the smashed Trident and a lot of dead people. Shortly afterwards, other passers-by arrived and the emergency services he summoned with his radio.

There was no cockpit voice recorder fitted so we will never know what happened in the lead-up to the accident. Certainly the captain was incapacitated and the FO was very young (22) and inexperienced (29 total hours on the line).

Would be interesting to see what has become of the site. For anyone interested in learning more about the crash, Papa India, The Trident Disaster by John Godson is highly recommended (he is also the author of Runway, about the Capitol Airways DC-8 crash in Anchorage, and Clipper 806, about the Pan Am 707 crash in Pago Pago - all available for pennies on abebooks.com). RIP Papa India.



fly Saha Air 707s daily from Tehran's downtown Mehrabad to Mashhad, Kish Island and Ahwaz
User currently offlinekaitak From Ireland, joined Aug 1999, 12599 posts, RR: 34
Reply 2, posted (2 years 6 months 1 week 5 days 10 hours ago) and read 10009 times:

Quoting cedarjet (Reply 1):
There was no cockpit voice recorder fitted so we will never know what happened in the lead-up to the accident. Certainly the captain was incapacitated and the FO was very young (22) and inexperienced (29 total hours on the line).

I think this was one of the main outcomes, from an air safety viewpoints; after this, all commercial pax aircraft in the UK had to have CVRs.

In addition to Cedarjet's comments about the crew's inexperience, the captain was a very senior check captain and had recently had a flaring row - in full view of his crew - in the crew lounge; there was a lot of industrial action around this time. Capt. Key was not very popular among crews and graffiti was found on the crashed aircraft (and others) referring to "Keyline control" - a reference to Capt. Key. The pilot who was flying the "panel" as P2, was significantly more experienced than the junior pilot in the right seat. Although the younger pilot had only 29h as a pilot, he had been flying the panel, i.e. as a flight engineer, before moving to the right seat. I believe the FOs names were Keighley and Ticehurst, but I can't remember who was P2 and flying the panel.

Quoting cedarjet (Reply 1):
The Trident Disaster by John Godson is highly recommended (he is also the author of Runway, about the Capitol Airways DC-8 crash in Anchorage, and Clipper 806, about the Pan Am 707 crash in Pago Pago - all available for pennies on abebooks.com). RIP Papa India.

He also wrote a very good book about the DC10, with excellent information about the Paris crash. I think it was called "Rise and Fall of the DC10".


User currently offlineRebelDJ From United Kingdom, joined May 2007, 114 posts, RR: 0
Reply 3, posted (2 years 6 months 1 week 5 days 10 hours ago) and read 9974 times:

Quoting cedarjet (Reply 1):
There was no cockpit voice recorder fitted so we will never know what happened in the lead-up to the accident.

Yes indeed - this was one of the accidents which lead to the introduction of CVRs into all large transport aircraft

Quoting cedarjet (Reply 1):
(although a fire did break out much later, quickly quelled by emergency services by then in attendance).

See 2:06 on http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J8Qt-pn3cC4 (be warned, there are some graphic shots on this video)


User currently offlinejwhite9185 From United Kingdom, joined May 2007, 1409 posts, RR: 4
Reply 4, posted (2 years 6 months 1 week 5 days 10 hours ago) and read 9973 times:

Quoting cedarjet (Reply 1):
Would be interesting to see what has become of the site.
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-18477420



A300,A319,A320,A321,A333,A343,A346,A388,732,733,734,735,738,741,742,744,752,763,772,77W,788,Q400,DC10,E145,E170,E175,E19
User currently offlineBellerophon From United Kingdom, joined May 2002, 585 posts, RR: 59
Reply 5, posted (2 years 6 months 1 week 5 days 7 hours ago) and read 9546 times:

RebelDJ

...Trident G-ARPI 40 Years Ago Today...

I was just wondering if anyone else had remembered!

It was an absolute tragedy, not only for all those on board flight BE 548 who lost their lives that day - including a school friend of mine who was one of the crew - but also for the families of those who died.

I had just joined BEA as a Second Officer (S/O) on the Trident fleet, and the repercussions of this accident were to rumble on for many years.


...The aircraft crashed on take-off from Heathrow due to a stall after failing to maintain airspeed...

It did (deep) stall, however I would suggest it might be more accurate to say that it stalled due to the premature retraction of the leading edge droop, rather than a failure to maintain airspeed.

I say this because - whilst the airspeed was (around 15 kts) lower than it should have been when someone incorrectly selected the droop up - the aircraft would still have stalled had it had been flying at the correct speed, because it would still have been around 50 kts below the minimum speed for droop retraction.

... My lasting memory...seeing news reports of crowds descending on the scene to have a good ol' look. An insight into some human nature!...

At that time my (now) wife lived very close to the crash site, and I have also spoken to several emergency service personnel who attended that day. Their comments, about the ghouls who descended on Staines that day, in one or two cases bringing children and picnics and obstructing the main road to emergency vehicles, are unprintable.


cedarjet

... There was no cockpit voice recorder fitted so we will never know what happened in the lead-up to the accident...

As I suspect you know, and as kaitak has already posted, this was the accident that led to their mandatory introduction on UK registered aircraft.


...For anyone interested in learning more about the crash, Papa India, The Trident Disaster by John Godson is highly recommended...

I have mixed feelings about this book. As far as his description of events up to and including the crash goes, I think it a poor account, containing several factual errors which should have been picked up during proof reading, and - something I particularly dislike - several instances of the author’s own personal suppositions or assumptions being presented as established fact.

However, where the author deals with the subsequent public enquiry, and exposes various regulatory and management shortcomings, some of which - with the advantage of hindsight - seem extraordinary to modern eyes, the book is compelling reading, with some well aimed and well justified criticism.

I don’t agree with all his conclusions, but I do agree with many, and I give him great credit for putting to rest the myth that it was BALPA that was against the introduction of cockpit voice recorders (BALPA were for the introduction of voice recorders well before the Trident crash) when it was the CAA who, under airline opposition on the grounds of cost, had decided they weren’t required.

If there is any small crumb of comfort to be drawn from this tragedy, it is that it helped ensure that cockpit voice recorders became mandatory.

I wonder how much longer it will be before cockpit video recorders become mandatory?



kaitak

...I believe the FOs names were Keighley and Ticehurst, but I can't remember who was P2 and flying the panel...

  • P2: S/O Jeremy Keighley. In the right hand seat, as P2.
  • P3: S/O Simon Ticehurst. In the third seat, as P3, operating the systems panel.

As you point out, there was industrial unrest at the time, and strong views on the subject of a possible pilots’ strike were being voiced by many pilots, on both sides of the dispute, including Captain Key, who was reported as being vehemently against such action.

How this would have affected two junior co-pilots who were due to fly with him can only be a matter of conjecture, but I suspect that it did nothing to improve the atmosphere on the flight deck.

I shall raise a glass tonight in memory of all who lost their lives that day.

To Absent Friends

Bellerophon


User currently offlineFlyCaledonian From United Kingdom, joined Dec 2003, 2104 posts, RR: 3
Reply 6, posted (2 years 6 months 1 week 5 days 3 hours ago) and read 9254 times:

When BA took delivery of the A319 fleet it skipped Papa India in the G-EUPx range, I assume because of the accident involving G-ARPI. Yet I notice that other BA aircraft took registrations where the last two letters matched those of aircraft involved in accidents. Is there any particular reason why G-EUPI was skipped?


Let's Go British Caledonian!
User currently offlineGDB From United Kingdom, joined May 2001, 13253 posts, RR: 77
Reply 7, posted (2 years 6 months 1 week 5 days 2 hours ago) and read 9091 times:

Quoting FlyCaledonian (Reply 6):
When BA took delivery of the A319 fleet it skipped Papa India in the G-EUPx range, I assume because of the accident involving G-ARPI.

True.
As for others, I don't know, I don't even recall what types they were.

Awful as the accident was, if you know the area of the crash site, it was a miracle the aircraft did not kill people on the ground as well. Being such a built up area.

The blackest day in the history of LHR, BEA/BA.


User currently offlineconnies4ever From Canada, joined Feb 2006, 4066 posts, RR: 13
Reply 8, posted (2 years 6 months 1 week 5 days 2 hours ago) and read 9061 times:

Quoting Bellerophon (Reply 5):
...The aircraft crashed on take-off from Heathrow due to a stall after failing to maintain airspeed...

It did (deep) stall, however I would suggest it might be more accurate to say that it stalled due to the premature retraction of the leading edge droop, rather than a failure to maintain airspeed.

40 years, my God. But the slat issue does stick in my mind. With a low airspeed and deep stall, the Trident probably came down more or less vertically.

Quoting cedarjet (Reply 1):
There was no cockpit voice recorder fitted so we will never know what happened in the lead-up to the accident. Certainly the captain was incapacitated and the FO was very young (22) and inexperienced (29 total hours on the line).

OK, admitting my ignorance, with no CVR, how can it be known that the Captain was incapacitated, unless revealed one supposes by autopsy results ?



Nostalgia isn't what it used to be.
User currently offlineBellerophon From United Kingdom, joined May 2002, 585 posts, RR: 59
Reply 9, posted (2 years 6 months 1 week 4 days 23 hours ago) and read 8820 times:

connies4ever


... with no CVR, how can it be known that the Captain was incapacitated, unless revealed one supposes by autopsy results ?...

Autopsies were performed on all three flight crew members. These autopsies revealed nothing abnormal in the cases of S/O Ticehurst and S/O Keighley but did reveal a significant heart abnormality in the case of Captain Key.

I have no medical expertise, but allow me to try to summarise, fairly, I hope, the pathologist's findings.

The pathologist found that Captain Key had suffered a cardiac incident no earlier than two hours before the accident, and no later than one minute before the accident, and that this cardiac incident definitely occurred before the accident, and was not caused by it or during it.

The Inquiry accepted his findings, noting as they did so that his team of pathologists had presented their report with such clarity that their conclusions were not, in the main, in dispute.

    The full report of the Public Inquiry may be read here
    An Appendix to the report may be read here

As part of its findings. the Public Inquiry later stated that:

...Taking the circumstantial evidence into account together with the medical, we believe Captain Key was, throughout take-off and initial climb, distracted by some degree of pain and discomfort , that the pain was increasing as time went on and that the stage was reached where his powers of reasoning were materially affected. We doubt whether this was noticed by the others on the flight deck...


To Absent Friends

Bellerophon


Excerpts from Civil Aircraft Accident Report 4/73 by courtesy of, and copyright to, the UK Air Accidents Investigation Branch.


User currently offline1stfl94 From United Kingdom, joined May 2006, 1455 posts, RR: 0
Reply 10, posted (2 years 6 months 1 week 4 days 22 hours ago) and read 8774 times:

Quoting GDB (Reply 7):
Quoting FlyCaledonian (Reply 6):
When BA took delivery of the A319 fleet it skipped Papa India in the G-EUPx range, I assume because of the accident involving G-ARPI.

True.
As for others, I don't know, I don't even recall what types they were

Whiskey Echo has been used after an aircraft crashed, G-ARWE was a 707 that crash landed at Heathrow in 1968 after losing an engine, G-BNWE was used on a 767 (since sold to Qantas I believe), however the Staines crash I think is it more infamous for BA, hence why they might have decided to avoid any possible connection on the A319, which would also be likely flying the same route.

RIP everyone who died that day


User currently offlineconnies4ever From Canada, joined Feb 2006, 4066 posts, RR: 13
Reply 11, posted (2 years 6 months 1 week 4 days 22 hours ago) and read 8761 times:

Quoting Bellerophon (Reply 9):
The pathologist found that Captain Key had suffered a cardiac incident no earlier than two hours before the accident, and no later than one minute before the accident, and that this cardiac incident definitely occurred before the accident, and was not caused by it or during it.

The Inquiry accepted his findings, noting as they did so that his team of pathologists had presented their report with such clarity that their conclusions were not, in the main, in dispute.

OK, I think that's as much as I need to know. Sad event.



Nostalgia isn't what it used to be.
User currently offlinebtblue From United Kingdom, joined Mar 2004, 580 posts, RR: 4
Reply 12, posted (2 years 6 months 1 week 4 days 22 hours ago) and read 8717 times:
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You can access a video here - footage of the crash and the actual fire that took place shortly after.


146/2/3 737/2/3/4/5/7/8/9 A320 1/2/18/19/21 DC9/40/50 DC10/30 A300/6 A330/2/3 A340/3/6 A380 757/2/3 747/4 767/3/4 787 77
User currently offlinepegasus1 From United Kingdom, joined Jun 2008, 103 posts, RR: 0
Reply 13, posted (2 years 6 months 1 week 4 days 20 hours ago) and read 8630 times:

Quoting cedarjet (Reply 1):
It actually took a little while - minutes, certainly - to find the wreck, despite crashing on the outskirts of one of Europe's biggest cities, in among housing estates, motorways, industrial parks etc. Possibly a massive mushroom cloud and fire would have helped but there was no post-crash fire (although a fire did break out much later, quickly quelled by emergency services by then in attendance).

Would be interesting to see what has become of the site. RIP Papa India.


I attended the service today and found it quite moving. A specially-commissioned stained-glass window has been installed above the entrance to St. Mary's Church in Staines and a condolence book has been opened in which tributes are being painstakingly recorded in gothic script. It is a work in progress and a beautiful and lasting tribute to those who perished.

With regard to the crash site, a local councillor informed me that the aircraft came down close to a factory which produced linoleum (since demolished and replaced with housing) and that if the aircraft had crashed onto the factory itself, because of the nature of some of the materials used in the production of linoleum, the resulting explosion would possibly have destroyed much of the town. (Conjecture, of course, but sobering to contemplate, nonetheless).

The site remains largely as it was on the day of the crash: housing backing onto a grassy stretch bordered on the other sides by large trees - and beyond, to the north, the A30 road and the two large reservoirs. There is now a memorial, arranged in a semi-circle, which sits peacefully in the shade of a large tree, with a paved area and an inlaid plaque to the memory of the victims of the disaster and seating for those who wish to come and contemplate this tragic event and pay their respects.


(I'll upload a pic or two of the memorial garden near the crash site in due course)

[Edited 2012-06-18 17:57:10]

User currently offlinepegasus1 From United Kingdom, joined Jun 2008, 103 posts, RR: 0
Reply 14, posted (2 years 6 months 1 week 4 days 10 hours ago) and read 5882 times:



User currently offlineMH017 From Netherlands, joined Apr 2005, 1692 posts, RR: 30
Reply 15, posted (2 years 6 months 1 week 4 days 9 hours ago) and read 5768 times:

Do remember this as yesterday's, since I spent my 3-weeks holiday in Seaford/Sussex improving my English, before joining my current employer., which will be 40 years on the 1st of July...

Remember too that as soon as the news came out, all roads to Staines were blocked because of onlookers....sad...

RIP to all who perished...



don't throw away tomorrow !
User currently onlineskipness1E From United Kingdom, joined Aug 2007, 3322 posts, RR: 1
Reply 16, posted (2 years 6 months 1 week 4 days 9 hours ago) and read 5743 times:

Papi India is of course the reason the BA A319s never had a G-EUPI although the flight number is still in use with flybe.

User currently offlineVC-10 From United Kingdom, joined Oct 1999, 3708 posts, RR: 34
Reply 17, posted (2 years 6 months 1 week 4 days 4 hours ago) and read 5552 times:
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Quoting Bellerophon (Reply 5):
At that time my (now) wife lived very close to the crash site, and I have also spoken to several emergency service personnel who attended that day. Their comments, about the ghouls who descended on Staines that day, in one or two cases bringing children and picnics and obstructing the main road to emergency vehicles, are unprintable.

My wife, who was twelve Y.O. at the time, recalls diving past the scene with her parents that afternoon and them thinking there must be a circus just off the Staines By-pass judging by the size of the crowd - it was of course the gawpers.

A cartoonist at the time drew a picture for the next day's paper of the accident scene with loads of sheep blocking the path of the emergency services


User currently offlinetype-rated From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 18, posted (2 years 6 months 1 week 4 days ago) and read 5359 times:

I find it somewhat strange that the memorial plaque refers to the accident by the aircrafts registration number alone. In the U.S. the memorial plaque would have mentioned the airline & the flight number. That's how people remember plane crashes, but the airline & flight number. The general public would have no idea/interest in the actual identification of the actual plane.

But it is nice that they built a memorial. It kind of reminds me of the memorial to AA 191.


User currently offline1stfl94 From United Kingdom, joined May 2006, 1455 posts, RR: 0
Reply 19, posted (2 years 6 months 1 week 4 days ago) and read 5343 times:

Quoting type-rated (Reply 18):
I find it somewhat strange that the memorial plaque refers to the accident by the aircrafts registration number alone. In the U.S. the memorial plaque would have mentioned the airline & the flight number. That's how people remember plane crashes, but the airline & flight number. The general public would have no idea/interest in the actual identification of the actual plane.

In the UK, most of the notable have generally been referred to more by the place they happened or the aircraft rather than flight numbers. After all, BMI still (possibly not by now) operated flight BD92 to Belfast despite that being the flight that crashed at Kegworth in 1989.


User currently offlineGDB From United Kingdom, joined May 2001, 13253 posts, RR: 77
Reply 20, posted (2 years 6 months 1 week 4 days ago) and read 5331 times:

Quoting 1stfl94 (Reply 10):
Whiskey Echo has been used after an aircraft crashed, G-ARWE was a 707 that crash landed at Heathrow in 1968 after losing an engine, G-BNWE was used on a 767 (since sold to Qantas I believe),

Yes, of course, I was thinking of other Papa India's, obvious when you point out the 707/767 ones.


User currently offlineRebelDJ From United Kingdom, joined May 2007, 114 posts, RR: 0
Reply 21, posted (2 years 6 months 1 week 3 days 14 hours ago) and read 5112 times:

Quoting type-rated (Reply 18):
refers to the accident by the aircrafts registration number alone. In the U.S. the memorial plaque would have mentioned the airline & the flight number.

Yes - that is interesting. Many crashes are remembered by their flight number - PA103, AF447, SR111 are some that spring immediately to mind, but others are referred to by their location - Kegworth (as already mentioned), Sioux City, Peggy's Cove (=SR111), Belle Harbor. Still others are remembered by a mixture of aircraft type and location - the DC-10 at Paris, the Concorde at Gonesse, the 757 at Girona, etc.

It would be interesting to know how others recall a particular accident.


User currently offlineFlyCaledonian From United Kingdom, joined Dec 2003, 2104 posts, RR: 3
Reply 22, posted (2 years 6 months 1 week 3 days 4 hours ago) and read 4809 times:

Quoting RebelDJ (Reply 21):
Yes - that is interesting. Many crashes are remembered by their flight number - PA103

Yet in the UK I would suggest that PA103 is better known to the general public as the Lockerbie Disaster.



Let's Go British Caledonian!
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