Channel Express (Air Services) Fokker F27, registered G-CHNL crashed during approach in Guernsey airport.
The accident was notified to the Air Accidents Investigation Branch (AAIB) at 1723 hrs on 12 January 1999 and an investigation began the same day.
The investigation was conducted by Mr M M Charles (Investigator-in-Charge), Mr J J Barnett (Operations), Mr J R James (Flight recorders), Mr R Parkinson (Engineering) and Mr R W Shimmons (Operations).
The accident occurred when control of the cargo aircraft, carrying three tonnes of newspapers, was lost during the final stages of an approach to Guernsey Airport.
Moments after the wing flaps were lowered to their fully down position, the nose of the aircraft rose and the crew were unable to prevent it rising further.
The nose continued to rise until the aircraft’s pitch attitude was near vertical. Although the crew applied nose down pitch trim and high engine power, the aircraft lost flying speed, stalled and entered an incipient spin.
It descended in a shallow nose down pitch attitude with little forward speed and crashed at the rear of a private house, striking the house with its port wing. Both the house and the aircraft caught fire.
The two pilots were killed but the sole occupant of the house escaped without physical injury .
The investigation identified the following causal factors:
- The aircraft was operated outside the load and balance limitations.
- Loading distribution errors went undetected because the load sheet signatories did not reconcile the cargo distribution in the aircraft with the load and balance sheet.
- The crew received insufficient formal training in load management.