Accident Armstrong Whitworth AW-650 Argosy 222 G-ASXP, Monday 4 December 1967
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Date:Monday 4 December 1967
Type:Silhouette image of generic aw65 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different    
Armstrong Whitworth AW-650 Argosy 222
Owner/operator:British European Airways - BEA
Registration: G-ASXP
MSN: 6804
Year of manufacture:1965
Total airframe hrs:7297 hours
Engine model:Rolls-Royce Dart 532-1
Fatalities:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 3
Other fatalities:0
Aircraft damage: Destroyed, written off
Location:London-Stansted Airport (STN) -   United Kingdom
Phase: Initial climb
Departure airport:London-Stansted Airport (STN/EGSS)
Destination airport:London-Stansted Airport (STN/EGSS)
Investigating agency: AIB
Confidence Rating: Accident investigation report completed and information captured
The aircraft was engaged on crew refresher training and had landed at Stansted Airport to carry out take-offs and landings. For the flight on which the accident occurred a captain occupied the first pilot's position and a training captain occupied the second pilot's seat.
The windscreen in front of the first pilot's position was fitted with a standard BEA blind flying screen, which obstructs the view of the pilot under training except for a small aperture that allows limited visual reference outside the flight deck. The training captain normally closes the aperture at 100 feet or so from the ground. In this instance the aperture was open throughout the flight.
The exercise to be carried out was the simulation of an engine failure during a take-off on instruments, and the training captain told the pilot to expect the 'failure' between rotation speed (VR) and take-off safety speed (V2).
The pre-take-off checks were completed satisfactorily. Flaps were set to 'take-off' (12°) and the flight fine pitch locks were set to 'engage'. The take-off was made on runway 23 and during the first part of the roll all the systems appeared to be operating normally, although the crew could not be sure about the indications of the flight fine pitch indicator lights which in certain conditions of light are not easy to see. The rotation speed of 102 knots and take-off safety speed of 111 knots used on the previous take-off were used again for this one. The take-off run was normal, on a constant heading, and about 960 metres long. At 102 knots the aircraft was rotated. At 107 knots the training captain throttled back the starboard outer engine (No. 4) to 190 kgs per hour fuel flow (the standard setting for the purpose) to simulate the failure of the engine. In accordance with standard practice he kept his feet on the rudder pedals to monitor the reaction of the pilot under training.
Immediately following the simulated engine failure there was a change of heading of about 2,5° to starboard, which the pilot under training corrected, regaining the original heading about three seconds after becoming airborne. About one ·second later, having climbed about 50 feet, the aircraft yawed sharply to starboard. Almost immediately the starboard wing went down and the training captain took the controls to help the pilot under training but found that full port aileron and rudder had already been applied. The training captain momentarily released one hand from the control column to reopen No 4 throttle and managed to push it forward three or four inches (about one-third of the way), but before the crew could detect any response from the engine the starboard wing tip struck the ground. From the second yaw to starboard to collision with the ground took six seconds.
When the wing tip touched the ground the aircraft was banked to some 45° and still rolling rapidly to starboard. It immediately caught fire, cartwheeled and began to disintegrate.
The wreckage came to rest some 500 feet to the right of the runway and almost immediately a second fire broke out as fuel was spilled from the ruptured port wing tanks.
The crew escaped through a hole in the broken fuselage. The airport fire service was promptly on the scene and both fires were brought under control.

PROBABLE CAUSE: "The accident was due to a loss of control during a takeoff with a simulated failure of the engine. The loss of control was most probably the result of No.4 propeller going into ground fine pitch when the engine was throttled back."

Accident investigation:
Investigating agency: AIB
Report number: CAP339
Status: Investigation completed
Duration: 2 years and 4 months
Download report: Final report



photo (c) William Leece; London-Stansted; January 1968

Revision history:


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