This website has attempted to look at some possible reasons for the accident but is not an attempt to attribute blame or to make accusations. It was a long chain of events starting some years before that combined with last minute factors to create a disaster. Looking at the situation and following it through today, it is like a miniature version of the Titanic tragedy and in some ways a miracle that it hadn't happened earlier. But , like the Titanic, it was unavoidable with the prevailing knowledge, culture and practice of the day.
Surely anyone with common sense could have seen this accident coming? Any one of
a number of people could have prevented it? They could have -
In terms of the institutional culture of the Airline and Industry no one did anything
that was particularly unusual, unsafe or even unwise. They had flown in similar
conditions many times before and nothing had happened, they had a 100% safety record,
If the plane had remained on the ground or flown directly back to Southend -
Today all Hell would have broken loose after the crash with far reaching recriminations and many people might have been held to account, rightly or wrongly. It just wasn't like that in 1962, and when it is not possible to reach a definite conclusion about an accident, it is sometimes expedient to blame the Man in Charge, close the case and learn rapidly and quietly from the experience.
In this case the Ministry were in a prime position to prevent the situation arising.
They knew about the problem and the potential catastrophe -
However this was the only accident in which Channel Airways ever lost a passenger
life and there is one thing of which you can be absolutely certain. If anyone associated
with this accident or involved with the Company, the Ministry, Met Office, or of
course the crew, had thought for a moment that what they did -
That is not -
Channel Airways postcard -
Channel Airways closed in 1971 -
This was the only accident that cost a passenger life in millions of miles flown.
|Radio Hams Raise the Alarm|
|An Alternative Theory|
|Pressure On Crews|