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Kegworth air disaster: What caused the Kegworth plane crash? 30 years on

January 8, 2019 10:23 AM
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Kegworth air disaster: What caused the Kegworth plane crash? 30 years on

VICTIMS of the Kegworth air disaster will be remembered today on the 30th anniversary of the plane crash - but what happened on that tragic night?

Survivors, relatives and emergency workers who attended the scene of one of Britain’s worst air disasters will remember the 47 people killed in a memorial service at 11am. A London to Belfast plane carrying 126 people crashed onto the M1 embankment at Kegworth on January 8, 1989 at 8.24pm. Of the 47 people killed, 39 died on the night while eight people would ultimately not survive their injuries. A further 74 people were seriously injured after the Midland Boeing 737 plunged to the ground.

Flight BD092 departed Heathrow at 7.52pm as normal but as the plane climbed to 28,300 feet, a fan blade in the left engine broke.

Passengers were soon alerted to the problem by a loud pounding noise, vibrations and smoking fill the cabin.

The plane’s pilots alerted air officials and were advised to divert to nearby East Midlands Airport.

After disengaging the plane’s autopilot, Captain Kevin Hart decided to shut down the right engine, which he believed to be the cause of the problem.

He tannoyed a reassuring message to passengers and as the plane began to glide, the smoke dissipated.

But unbeknown to the pilots, this was due to the disabled autothruttle reducing flow to the left engine.

As the plane approached the airport, more fuel was pumped into the left engine causing it to burst into flames.


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