The day a holiday jet carrying over 400 people overshot the runway at Leeds Bradford Airport

Do you remember the British Airtours plane accident?

Tuesday, 31st July 2018, 3:06 pm
Updated Tuesday, 31st July 2018, 3:13 pm

Back in 1985, a holiday flight returning from Mallorca overshot the runway in wet conditions while trying to land at Leeds Bradford Airport, and ended up in a wedged in an embankment.

Light aircraft crashes near SelbyThe plane was a Lockheed TriStar, registration G-BBAI, operated by British Airtours - then a subsidiary of British Airways. It was bringing 398 passengers and 14 crew back from Palma on a charter during the ill-fated flight on May 27.

One dead in Boroughbridge helicopter crashThe aircraft over-ran the runway, which was wet from a recent rain shower, and came to a stop in a sloping field just beyond the boundary of the airfield. An evacuation was ordered, and all on board escaped with only minor injuries.

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The plane was extensively damaged - the nose landing gear folded backwards, damaging the underside of the fuselage, and the undersides of both wing-mounted engines were flattened.

The wheels had dug deep troughs into the ground, damaging the airfield's lighting cables that were buried under the surface.

An accident report concluded that the over-run was caused by the inability of the aircraft to achieve the appropriate level of braking effectiveness due to restricted thrust reverse options, and recommended that both the wet runway performance of the TriStar and the condition of the surface of runway 14 at Leeds Bradford Airport should be re-examined.

G-BBAI remained at the airport for several weeks to undergo major repairs, but returned to service - even flying the same route again only weeks later. While crash investigators worked at the scene, the stranded aircraft proved an attraction for locals, who gathered at the airside viewing spots to look at the crippled plane.

She was later leased to several other operators, including Worldways Canada, Caledonian Airways and Air Algerie, before being scrapped in 1999.

One of the passengers was a BBC journalist who had been on holiday in Mallorca to recuperate after covering the Bradford City stadium fire disaster.