C404, Glasgow UK, 1999

Summary: 

On 3rd September 1999, shortly after take-off from Glasgow UK, a Cessna 404 experienced an engine failure which was mishandled, leading to loss of control, and the aircraft was destroyed by a post-crash fire.

Event Details
When: 
03/09/1999
Event Type: 
Day/Night: 
Day
Flight Conditions: 
On Ground - Normal Visibility

18661

Flight Details
Aircraft: 
Type of Flight: 
Public Transport (Passenger)
Intended Destination: 
Take-off Commenced: 
Yes
Flight Airborne: 
Yes
Flight Completed: 
No
Phase of Flight: 
Take Off
Location
Location - Airport
Airport: 
FIRE
Tag(s): 
Post Crash Fire
HF
Tag(s): 
Inappropriate crew response (technical fault), Manual Handling
LOC
Tag(s): 
Loss of Engine Power, Aircraft Flight Path Control Error
EPR
Tag(s): 
“Emergency” declaration
Outcome
Damage or injury: 
Yes
Aircraft damage: 
Hull loss
Non-aircraft damage: 
Yes
Non-occupant Casualties: 
No
Occupant Injuries: 
Most or all occupants
Occupant Fatalities: 
Many occupants
Off Airport Landing: 
Yes
Ditching: 
Yes
Causal Factor Group(s)
Group(s): 
Aircraft Operation, Aircraft Technical
Safety Recommendation(s)
Group(s): 
Aircraft Airworthiness
Investigation Type
Type: 
Independent

Description

On 3rd September 1999, shortly after take-off from Glasgow UK, a Cessna 404 experienced an engine failure which was mishandled, leading to loss of control, and the aircraft was destroyed by a post-crash fire.

Summary

The following is an extract of the Executive Summary from the official AAIB Report:

"…According to survivors, the take-off proceeded normally until shortly after the aircraft became airborne when they heard a thud or bang. The aircraft was seen by external witnesses at a low height, to the left of the extended centreline, in a wings level attitude that later developed into a right bank and gentle descent. Witnesses reported hearing an engine spluttering and saw at least one propeller rotating slowly. There was a brief "emergency" radio transmission from the commander and the aircraft was seen entering a steep right turn. It then entered a dive. A witness saw the wings levelled just before the aircraft struck the ground…Three survivors were helped from the wreckage…before flames from a severe post-impact fire engulfed the cabin.

The investigation identified the following causal factors:

The propeller of the failed engine was not feathered and therefore the aircraft was incapable of climbing on the power of one engine alone.

A total loss of thrust occurred once the left engine had failed and the right propeller had been feathered.

The commander attempted to return to the departure airfield but lost control of the aircraft during a turn to the right."

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Further Reading

For further information, see the full AAIB Report: AAIB Accident Report 2/2001

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