Accident Bristol 175 Britannia 102 G-ANBB, Thursday 1 September 1966
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Date:Thursday 1 September 1966
Type:Silhouette image of generic brtn model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different    
Bristol 175 Britannia 102
Owner/operator:Britannia Airways
Registration: G-ANBB
MSN: 12903
Year of manufacture:1954
Total airframe hrs:18444 hours
Cycles:5380 flights
Fatalities:Fatalities: 98 / Occupants: 117
Other fatalities:0
Aircraft damage: Destroyed, written off
Location:3 km SE of Ljubljana-Brnik Airport (LJU) -   Slovenia
Phase: Approach
Nature:Passenger - Non-Scheduled/charter/Air Taxi
Departure airport:London-Luton Airport (LTN/EGGW)
Destination airport:Ljubljana-Brnik Airport (LJU/LJLJ)
Confidence Rating: Accident investigation report completed and information captured
Flight BY105 was an international tourist charted flight from Luton, England, to Ljubljana, Yugoslavia. The aircraft took off from Luton at 21:10 hours GMT on 31 August 1966, with a crew of 7 and 110 passengers.
The en route part of the flight was uneventful. After overflying Klagenfurt, the crew contacted Ljubljana Aerodrome Control. The controller supplied the crew with meteorological and other necessary landing information: "Wind is calm, visibility 5 kilometres, shallow fog over the runway is forming now, clouds 2/8 strato-cumulus 1800 metres, QNH 1011, QFE 968 millibars. Temperature 10 and dew-point also 10 degrees. Runway will be 31. After Dolsko make left pattern holding, descend down to 4500 by QNH, report inbound."
The crew acknowledged receipt of the information. When the pilot asked the controller if the ILS was operating, the controller answered that he had radar contact at a position 20 NM south-east from the airport and advised the crew to make an ILS approach to runway 31, and to report after descending to 4500 ft QNH.
The crew acknowledged and reported they were at 4500 ft and would call over Dolsko inbound for the outer marker and asked again if the ILS was operating and if it was serviceable. The controller answered affirmatively, adding that the ILS was working normally.
He then gave the position "abeam Dol" and after that was acknowledged by the crew, he asked if they had visual contact with the runway. The crew confirmed that they had contact. The crew then reported having passed Dolsko continuing and descending towards runway 31. The controller acknowledged this information and requested the crew to "check final for runway 31", and gave the aircraft its position as 7 NM from touchdown on the centre line should be passing 3300 ft, and repeated "check final for runway 31." The crew acknowledged this message and one and a half minutes later reported having passed the outer marker inbound. The controller issued clearance for landing and advised that he had set the approach and runway lights to maximum intensity. He then left the radar console and went to the light control console at the same time glancing towards the approach and the runway. He could not see the aircraft but the approach and runway lights were clearly visible. At that moment, the crew requested radar assistance. The controller returned to the radar console and started to supply them with radar information. After giving the crew two aircraft positions of 3,5 NM and 2 NM from touchdown, he observed that the aircraft signal was turning to the right and gave a correction of 3° left. Observing that the aircraft did not make any correction, the controller informed the crew that its position was 1,5 NM from the touchdown, and asked the pilot whether he was making a short right turn to the radio beacon Menges. The crew did not reply, and there was no further contact with them although the controller continued calling. Radar contact was lost at 00:47 hours local time on 1 September 1966 (23:47 hours GMT on 31 August 1966). Rescue services, after 15 minutes, found the crashed aircraft on fire, in a wood, 2.8 km south east of the threshold of runway 31 and 0.7 km north of the runway extended centreline.

PROBABLE CAUSE: "The probable cause of the accident was that the pilot-in-command did not set his altimeter to the QFE-968 mb in accordance with the information passed by the controller. However, the whole approach to the airport was made as if the altimeter had been set to the QFE, and resulted in the approach being about 1250ft lower than procedural safety altitudes, so that the aircraft's approach was too low, because although it was a moonlight night he could not distinguish any visual land marks, which might have warned him of the low altitude, due to the nature of the trees covered terrain over which they were flying. As the altimeter error passed unnoticed by both pilots and because they were not carrying out cross-checks of the two altimeters in accordance with the relevant operations manual instruction attachment No. 15, the error was not corrected by climbing to a safe altitude.
This disregard of the procedure laid down in the check lists and operations manual for approach and landing may be explained by the fact that the approach was carried out on a moonlight night in calm weather and with visibility of approximately 12nm, which reduced the crew's concentration on precisely following the prescribed procedures and checks.
The visual effect of the runway slope made the situation worse, giving the pilots a wrong impression of the aircraft's approach angle. The co-pilot's altimeter was found set at 1005,5 mb. The difference between the QNH and QFE passed to the aircraft was approximately equivalent to 1000ft. A figure which might have led to further confusion."


Flight International 19 December 1968 (1018)
ICAO Circular 88-AN/74 Volume II (124-133)


  • 5th worst accident in 1966
  • 2nd worst accident of this aircraft type
  • worst accident of this aircraft type at the time


Revision history:


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