Accident Piper PA-34-220T Seneca III G-NJML,
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ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 174928
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Date:Thursday 6 March 1997
Type:Silhouette image of generic PA34 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different    
Piper PA-34-220T Seneca III
Owner/operator:Oxford Management Ltd
Registration: G-NJML
MSN: 34-8333057
Fatalities:Fatalities: 1 / Occupants: 2
Aircraft damage: Destroyed
Location:3.5 miles NE of Southend Airport, Rochford, Southend, Essex -   United Kingdom
Phase: Initial climb
Departure airport:Southend, Essex (SEB/EGMC)
Destination airport:Ostend-Bruges International Airport (OST/EBOS)
Investigating agency: AAIB
Confidence Rating: Accident investigation report completed and information captured
Written off (destroyed) 9 March 1997 when crashed due to instrument failure on a night take off, and came down three-and-a-half miles north east of Southend Airport, Rochford, Southend, Essex, killing the passenger, and seriously injuring the pilot. According to the following extracts from the official AAIB report into the accident:

"The aircraft was to operate a chartered flight delivering aircraft spares from Southend to Ostend. It was a night flight. The pilot was accompanied by a friend who sat in the First Officer's seat but had no flying experience and took no part in the proceedings.

At 2059:37 hours the pilot announced that he was ready for departure and was given an air traffic clearance to turn right on track to Ostend and climb to 3,400 feet; he was then cleared to take off. The time of take off was logged by the controller was 2101 hours.

FAILURE". At this stage the controller could see the lights of the aircraft, he acknowledged the RTF call, and asked if the pilot wanted to position for Runway 24.

The pilot confirmed that this was his intention and the controller then asked for clarification of the problem. The pilot replied "LOOKS LIKE WE GOT A HORIZON FAILURE". At this stage the controller alerted the Airfield Fire Service and brought them to local standby. At 2102:55 hrs the pilot made a further transmission saying "THERE IS A SERIOUS PROBLEM HERE WE'LL HAVE TO GET BACK ON THE ILS". The controller acknowledged this call and requested a further transmission in order to establish the bearing of the aircraft.

The resulting track from the aircraft to the airfield of 210 degrees was passed to the pilot who was then asked to "REPORT ESTABLISHED ON THE ILS FOR RUNWAY 24". He replied "WILCO"and this transmission, at 2103:20 hours, was the last from the aircraft. During this final RT exchange with the pilot the controller could no longer see the aircraft lights. From 2105:21 hours the controller made repeated RT calls to the aircraft but received no response.

The aircraft had crashed into a field on a bearing of 029 degrees three-and-a-half-miles from the threshold of Runway 24. A few moments before impact the aircraft was seen flying very fast at an estimated height of 15 to 20 feet in a 90 degree bank turn to the right. Shortly afterwards it went behind a stand of trees, still turning to the right, and the witness heard a dull thud as it impacted the ground.

The passenger was killed on impact and the pilot received serious injuries. He had little recollection of the accident flight, but he was able to describe the symptoms of the artificial horizon failure."

The AAIB report confirms that the aircraft was "destroyed"; as a result, the registration G-NJML was cancelled by the CAA on 16 July 1997 as "Permanently withdrawn from use"

Accident investigation:
Investigating agency: AAIB
Report number: 
Status: Investigation completed
Download report: Final report


1. AAIB:
2. CAA:

Revision history:

29-Mar-2015 16:09 Dr. John Smith Added
29-Mar-2015 16:23 Dr. John Smith Updated [Destination airport, Narrative]

Corrections or additions? ... Edit this accident description

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