A Record of Vickers VC10 Plane Mishaps

As one particular of 4 extended-selection, quad-engine, initially-generation jetliners, together with the Boeing 707, the McDonnell-Douglas DC-8, and the Ilyushin Il-62, the Vickers VC10 was one particular of only two to characteristic uninterrupted wings, aft-mounted Rolls Royce Conway turbofans, and a t-tail to improve its brief-field, higher-carry general performance.

Whilst it was praised by passengers and crew users alike, its overweight, overengineered design and style, created in each limited-fuselage Typical and long-fuselage Tremendous variations, limited its product sales to just 54 aircraft, which includes these to the Royal Air Power, and rendered it a technological success, but a money failure.

This study seems to be at its short incident background.

Other than initial stall and drag deficiencies encountered through the VC10’s flight exam method, the variety experienced couple of airframe and powerplant failures, reflecting equally its top-quality engineering and the somewhat number of in operation.

First teething difficulties, however, surfaced in December of 1964 when an undercarriage warning light illuminated on a BOAC Typical 1101 while it executed its approach to Manchester. Although it landed securely right after the landing gear was gravity-extended, the anomaly was recognized as the equipment-down lock, which was subsequently changed. The genuine offender, nonetheless, would later on floor.

The similar aircraft flashed the same warning a few weeks afterwards when it was approaching Jan Smuts Global Airport in Johannesburg, South Africa. Irrespective of a number of extension attempts, it would not lock in area. Throughout its ensuing circle to melt away fuel and decrease its hearth danger after landing, the crew last but not least succeeded in lowering the equipment and landed without having incident.

Its far more long-lasting grounding, through which time engineers have been flown in to uncover the actual snag, led to the discovery that a corroded spindle had been driving the incident and it was recommended that improved corrosion security be subsequently used. Whilst all VC10 operators were recommended of the discover, no further incidents transpired.

An additional, though fairly minor, incident occurred on August 9, 1967 when a BOAC Super 1151, enroute from Lima, Peru, to New York-JFK, with an intermediate halt in Jamaica, get rid of a four-by-8-foot wing flap area, which traveled guiding the wing and then plunged to the ground, puncturing the roof of a home at 214 North Avenue in Manhasset Hills, Very long Island. There were being neither accidents to these in the residence nor even awareness of these on board, leaving Flight 500 to properly land at 19:56 nearby time. Whilst the passengers disembarked from what they viewed as a “program” fight, the incident attested to the aircraft’s design, given that the absent flap did not even have an effect on its raise through method or landing.

Of considerably increased arrive at was its September 9, 1970 aerial hijacking, together with that of a TWA Boeing 707 and a Swissair McDonnell-Douglas DC-8, carried out by the Well-known Entrance for the Liberation of Palestine, or PLFP, to Jordan’s Dawson Subject, history’s single, largest-scale celebration of its type. Since the passengers experienced been authorized to go away the aircraft, there ended up no fatalities.

Even so, the kind suffered two lethal mishaps throughout the 15-yr time period in between 1964 and 1979.

The to start with of these happened on November 20, 1969 with aircraft 5N-ABD operated by Nigeria Airways on a multi-sector flight from London to Lagos with intermediate stops in Rome and Kano. The plane itself, the initially production Typical VC10-1101, had initially been registered G-ARVA and experienced served BOAC for 5 many years, involving 1964 and 1969. Nigeria Airways only operated it for two months and it experienced 18,431 several hours on its airframe at the time.

The crew was rarely without having practical experience. Captain Val Moore, 56, experienced himself flown for BOAC on many notable piston and pure-jet types, which includes the Halton, the York, the Hermes, the Argonaut, the Comet 4, and the VC10. Of the 15,173 hrs in his logbook, 3,323 of them experienced been in command of that extremely Vickers style and design.

Very first Officer John Wallis, 30, experienced also flown the kind with East African Airways for two-and-a-half a long time. Of his 3,500 hours, 900 of them had been on the VC10.

Also in the cockpit have been Flight Engineer George Albert Baker, 50, and Navigator Basil Payton, 49, each of whom have been serving Nigeria Airways, but had been employed by British United.

The four crew members operated all three sectors.

Flight WT 925 had departed London the former night at 22:10, encountering program operations to equally Rome and Kano. But, before it left the latter city, the captain asked for 30,000 kilos of added fuel, fearing that civil unrest presently raging all over Lagos would preclude his landing and drive his Kano return.

Takeoff for the shorter, 66-moment segment at 06:24 resulted in an estimated time of arrival (ETA) of 07:28.

At 07:11, or six minutes soon after the plane created its initial air targeted visitors command (ATC) call, it asked for descent clearance from its latest 35,000-foot altitude to 14,000 toes, the latter to steer clear of interference from a Lagos-departing Fokker F.27 Friendship turboprop. Immediately after it visually confirmed and passed the Nigeria Airways quad-jet, the VC10 itself was provided additional authorization to descend and sustain 5,000 feet.

Its subsequent ask for for a straight-in approach to Runway 19 was granted, while it was expected to report reaching 2,200 ft.

Misunderstanding of local climate disorders appears to be to have played a critical component in the party. While the airport was under crystal clear skies, the area surrounding it was not. Thick fog, from treetop level to some 2,000 ft, blanketed the floor one mile north of it, and bad visibility rose as large as 5,000 feet.

Descending through 2,200 ft at 07:29, the VC10 complied with its preceding reporting ask for and the tower questioned it to do so once more when it achieved a issue six miles from landing. No even more transmissions have been gained.

Shortly after the 08:05 departure of two Nigeria Air Force plane from Lagos, they saw smoke rising via the clouds on the solution path to Runway 19.

Pretty much in its last landing configuration, with 35 degrees of trailing edge flap, extended undercarriage, and a 6.7-degree nose-up tailplane environment, aircraft 5N-ABD experienced brushed the treetops at 207 feet over the floor, shedding its number two and three port wing flaps and remaining, main undercarriage bogie. Right after an additional 350 feet, it shed its total port wing.

Careening through a few other trees over the subsequent 250 feet, it shed far more of its composition-in this situation, the quantity two, 3, and 4 appropriate wing flap panels. Soon after masking a 1,700-foot distance from its initial tree-strike, it impacted the floor in a nose-up, left-wing-down profile, dropping its tail and four aft-mounted engines, ahead of the remainder of the aircraft came to relaxation 300 feet over and above this level.

Gas ruptured from the tanks ignited a survivorless hearth.

While the plane was not geared up with a flight data recorder and no definitive cause in the sequence of occasions that led to the aircraft’s destruction was established, it evidently failed to crystal clear obstructions in its technique route and monitor its altitude and sink price in the course of what was, but ought to not have been, a visible technique in the course of instrumental meteorological circumstances (IMC) at the end of a tri-sector substantial flight, which positioned the crew at the fringes of its lawful obligation time.

The second fatal VC10 incident happened a few yrs later on, on April 18, 1972, when a Tremendous 1154, registered 5X-UNA with 18,586 several hours on its airframe, crashed in the course of takeoff from Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

Running East African Airways Flight EC 720 to Rome and at some point to London, it experienced been granted its start-up clearance at 09:21 and subsequently adopted the jap taxiway to Runway 07. The winds, it experienced been advised, have been out of variable directions at 5 knots.

Cleared for takeoff at 09:38:40, it executed its acceleration roll. But, just ahead of reaching its V1 speed, or the instant at which its takeoff either experienced to be aborted or ongoing, it plowed by means of a steel jacking pad get rid of by an before-departing Cessna 185 with its nose wheel, resulting in the puncture of the proper of its two tires. The cockpit crew knowledgeable the collision as the two a loud bang and a vibration.

The nose briefly rose, but resettled to the ground.

Aborting the takeoff, the captain pulled the throttles again to the idle place and engaged the thrust reversers, although the t-tailed quad-jet veered slightly to the proper and a single of its primary gear tires burst. Now veering to the still left, it hit an embankment, leading to the port wing to momentarily rise and then intercept Runway 25’s steel lattice tactic gentle stanchion.

The effects, rupturing the 1A gasoline tank, unleashed a cascade of igniting liquid as the plane dropped 10.6 meters to the reduce ground beyond the runway and broke up. Eight of the 11 crew members and 35 of the 96 passengers perished.

According to the investigation report, “The incident was owing to a partial decline of braking exertion arising from incorrect re-assembly of portion of the braking system, as a final result of which the aircraft could not be stopped within the crisis distance remaining following a adequately executed abandoned takeoff technique.”

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