Date & Time: Mar 28, 1933 at 1425 LT
Type of aircraft:
Armstrong Whitworth AW.154 Argosy
Scheduled Revenue Flight
Cologne – Bruxelles – Croydon
Crew on board:
Pax on board:
Named 'City of Liverpool', the aircraft departed Brussels-Haren Airport at 1336LT, about 30 minutes beyond schedule. It passed over Gent at 1400LT and was approaching Roeselare. While cruising at an altitude of 4,300 feet and at a speed of 95 knots, the radio navigator informed ATC that all was OK on board. Few minutes later, an intense fire broke out in the cabin. Immediately, the pilot reduced his altitude and attempted an emergency landing. But from a height of some 200 feet, the aircraft stalled and crashed in a flat attitude in an open field, bursting into flames. The aircraft was totally destroyed by a post crash fire and all 15 occupants were killed.
Investigations revealed that no technical failure occurred on wings or engines. A quick and violent fire broke out in the cabin, maybe in a luggage or in the toilet compartment for reasons that could not be determined. The fire was very intensive as no one in the cabin was able to use the fire extinguisher. Investigators thought about a criminal act but Imperial Airways declared few months later that the responsibility of any of the passenger could not be proven.