|Summary Pilot error|
Date 18 February 1956
Total fatalities 50 (all)
Passenger count 45
|Site Near Zurrieq, Malta|
Aircraft type Avro York
Operator Scottish Airlines
|Similar 1956 Atlantic R6D‑1 di, Northwest Orient Airlines Fl, 1956 Hawker Hunter m, 1956 B‑47 disappearance, 1956 London Heathrow|
The 1956 Scottish Airlines Malta air disaster was an air accident that happened on 18 February 1956 when a Scottish Airlines Avro York crashed after take off from RAF Luqa in Malta on a trooping flight from the Suez Canal Zone to London Stansted Airport. The disaster killed 50 passengers and crew on board the aircraft, all the passengers except one (a British Army private) were Royal Air Force personnel.
The accident happened on 18 February 1956 when Avro York registration G-ANSY took off from Malta International Airport at 12:21 UTC time on a flight to London Stansted Airport with 45 passengers and five crew on board. Shortly after becoming airborne the boost enrichment capsule in the carburetor of number one engine failed and the engine caught fire. The pilots did not feather the propeller as the aircraft slowly climbed to 700–800 feet, then the crew tried a left turn to return to the airport. Shortly after retracting the flaps the aircraft went a nose-up attitude at very low flying speed. This resulted in a stall, causing the aircraft to go into a dive and it crashed into the ground near Zurrieq, Malta killing all 50 passengers and crew on board the aircraft.
The mechanical cause was failure of the number one engine. However, this failure alone did not cause the accident which was caused by loss of speed and consequent loss of control through an error of judgement of the pilot.