Biggin Hill Airport notified the Air Accidents Investigation Branch (AAIB) of the accident on 30 March 2008 and the investigation began the same day. The following inspectors participated in the investigation:
Mr K Conradi Investigator-in-Charge
Mr M Cook Operations
Mr N Dann Operations
Mr M Jarvis Engineering
Mr A Burrows Flight Recorders
The aircraft departed Biggin Hill for a private flight to Pau, France but shortly after takeoff initiated a return to Biggin Hill after reporting engine vibration. During the downwind leg for Runway 21, the aircraft descended. The flightcrew reported a major power problem just before it struck the side of a house. An intense fire developed. None of the two flight crew and three passengers survived.
The following contributory factors were identified:
It is probable that a mechanical failure within the air cycle machine caused the vibration which led to the crew attempting to return to the departure airfield.
A missing rivet head on the left engine fuel shut-off lever may have led to an inadvertent shutdown of that engine.
Approximately 70 seconds prior to impact, neither engine was producing any thrust.
A relight attempt on the second engine was probably started before the relit first engine had reached idle speed, resulting in insufficient time for enough thrust to be developed to arrest the aircraft’s rate of descent before ground impact.
Three Safety Recommendations have been made.
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Published 10 December 2014