Accident Avro RJ85 G-JOTR, Tuesday 19 January 2021
ASN logo

Date:Tuesday 19 January 2021
Type:Silhouette image of generic RJ85 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different    
Avro RJ85
Owner/operator:Jota Aviation
Registration: G-JOTR
MSN: E2294
Year of manufacture:1996
Engine model:Lycoming LF507-1F
Fatalities:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 5
Other fatalities:0
Aircraft damage: Substantial, repaired
Location:London-Biggin Hill Airport (BQH) -   United Kingdom
Phase: Pushback / towing
Departure airport:London-Biggin Hill Airport (BQH/EGKB)
Destination airport:London Southend Airport (SEN/EGMC)
Investigating agency: AAIB
Confidence Rating: Accident investigation report completed and information captured
The crew boarded G-JOTR while it was parked on a taxiway at London-Biggin Hill Airport, but airfield restrictions required it to be towed to a designated area on the apron for engine start. The towing route followed the edge of the apron, which was damp and downhill, and involved a 90° left turn to line up for start. A combination of unfamiliarity with a relatively new operating base, towing in reverse and difficulty interpreting "indistinct" taxiway markings meant the tug driver entered the left turn later than intended. The late entry made the turn excessively tight, and the tug lost traction on the damp surface and jack-knifed. The resulting combination of a sharp towing angle and the aircraft’s downhill momentum caused the towbar shear pin to break. The commander applied the brakes immediately on hearing "the sound of snapping metal" but was unable to prevent the aircraft rolling forward into the tug.

The operator’s internal investigation report made several safety recommendations, including a review of towing procedures, enhanced driver training, the use of radios by towing teams and improvements to taxiway markings. The company also reviewed its apron risk assessment and towing was added to their audit plan.

On 10 February 2021 the aircraft was ferried to Cranfield for repairs. On 1 July 2021 the aircraft was flown back to London-Biggin Hill Airport.

Accident investigation:
Investigating agency: AAIB
Report number: AAIB-27100
Status: Investigation completed
Duration: 5 months
Download report: Final report


Revision history:


The Aviation Safety Network is an exclusive service provided by:
Quick Links:

CONNECT WITH US: FSF on social media FSF Facebook FSF Twitter FSF Youtube FSF LinkedIn FSF Instagram

©2024 Flight Safety Foundation

1920 Ballenger Av, 4th Fl.
Alexandria, Virginia 22314