Date & Time: Nov 5, 1956 at 2352 LT
Type of aircraft:
Handley Page H.P.81 Hermes
Landing (descent or approach)
Charter/Taxi (Non Scheduled Revenue Flight)
Tripoli – Blackbushe
Crew on board:
Pax on board:
The aircraft was flying under charter to the Air Ministry and had flown from Idris Airport, Tripoli with a crew of 6 and 74 passengers, nearly all members of servicemen's families. Shortly before midnight, on landing at Blackbushe in poor visibility, the aircraft undershot the runway, hit a beech tree 3,617 feet short of the threshold, swung sharply to port, came down among pine trees about 3,000 feet from the beech tree and caught fire. Three crew members were killed by the impact and four children lost their lives due to fire.
The most probable cause of the accident is that in difficult conditions and while suffering from a degree of fatigue above the normal, the captain, relying on his vision of the airport lights to assess his height, judged his height to be higher than it actually was.