Accident English Electric Canberra PR Mk 9 XH164, Tuesday 7 January 1969
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Date:Tuesday 7 January 1969
Type:Silhouette image of generic CNBR model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different    
English Electric Canberra PR Mk 9
Owner/operator:13 Sqn RAF
Registration: XH164
MSN: SH.1728
Fatalities:Fatalities: 2 / Occupants: 2
Other fatalities:0
Aircraft damage: Destroyed
Location:near Addolorata Cemetery 1½ miles ENE of RAF Luqa -   Malta
Phase: Approach
Departure airport:RAF Akrotiri, Cyprus (AKT/LCRA)
Destination airport:RAF Luqa, Malta
Confidence Rating: Information is only available from news, social media or unofficial sources
Written off 07/01/1969: Rolled to port, crashed inverted and exploded near Addolorata Cemetery, 1½ miles ENE of Luqa, Malta while on approach to Luqa. The two crew were killed

Canberra PR.9 XH130 crashed in Malta on 25/03/1969 in very similar circumstances (which see).

Per eyewitness report:

"With reference to the two 13 Squadron Canberra PR.9s that crashed in Malta. I was on 39 Squadron in 1970 and we were well aware that something 'odd' had happened and had been checking flying controls and autopilot systems on the whole fleet.

The finger was pointed at the hydraulic powered flying control system on the ailerons and the tail plane trim actuator. The powered ailerons were only fitted to the PR.9 to my knowledge and although nothing could be found, it was thought that a fault in this system could have caused the accidents as both the aircraft were reported to have rolled and crashed inverted.

The autopilot system was ruled out as it was unlikely to have been selected when the accidents occurred. The aircrew were warned to be cautious if the aircraft 'twitched' in the roll axis and I can remember at least one aircraft returning, having declared an emergency, with the navigators escape hatch missing!

In the PR.9, the navigator was in a closed compartment in the nose and although he could eject through a frangible hatch it was considered preferable to jettison it first. That crew reported that they had experienced an aileron twitch and gave serious thought to ejecting.

We never found anything conclusive and eventually everything went quiet and flying returned to normal, but it took about a year for the aircrew to settle down. Quite understandably they would, like the rest of us,like to have known what the cause of the accidents was. If the cause was ever identified, I never got to hear about it."


Revision history:

12-Apr-2013 23:51 Dr. John Smith Added
13-Apr-2013 07:24 Nepa Updated [Location]
13-Apr-2013 07:37 Nepa Updated [Aircraft type, Operator]

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