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Vickers Viking Crash Disaster
Episode 117th January 2022 • The BackTracker History Show • The Backtracker
00:00:00 00:31:41

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The Vickers VC.1 Viking is developed and manufactured by Vickers-Armstrong Limited and introduced in 1946. It is a twin-engine short-range airliner primarily used by British European Airways. The aircraft was developed from the Vickers Wellington long-range medium bomber and was produced from 1945 to 1954 with a total number of 163 aircraft built. It featured the Bristol Hercules, a 14-cylinder two-row radial aircraft engine designed by Sir Roy Fedden and produced by the Bristol Engine Co, based in Filton, Bristol, starting in 1939.

On 2nd September 1958, the Britannia Vickers VC1 Viking aircraft, registration G-AIJE, had just taken off from London Airport bound for Tel Aviv in Israel via Nice, Brindisi and Athens. Meanwhile, it was nearly breakfast time so Jim Williamson at No 8 Kelvin Gardens in Southall, Middlesexx, put the kettle on for his morning cuppa. 38 year old Jim then went to have a shave before getting ready for his job as a fitter when he heard the roar of a plane. He thought to himself "If it keeps on flying so low, it will come through the windows next"

What happened next shocked a community and brought to light many faults in the way airlines operated...


This podcast has been specially edited from a Bradley Stoke Radio show in Bristol, England. 

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Sussex History Forum

Daily Mirror - Tuesday 17 March 1959

Coventry Evening Telegraph - Tuesday 02 September 1958

Daily Mirror - Monday 07 September 1959

Torbay Express and South Devon Echo - Friday 17 October 1958

Belfast Telegraph - Wednesday 26 November 1958

Birmingham Daily Post - Friday 28 November 1958

Daily Mirror - Friday 28 November 1958

Liverpool Echo - Tuesday 16 December 1958

Daily Mirror - Wednesday 17 December 1958

Birmingham Daily Post - Tuesday 16 December 1958

Birmingham Daily Post - Tuesday 27 January 1959

Birmingham Daily Post - Friday 30 January 1959

Western Mail - Friday 30 January 1959

Daily Mirror - Friday 20 March 1959

Liverpool Echo - Monday 06 July 1959

Daily Mirror - Thursday 16 July 1959

G. Munro Smith’s  A History of the Bristol Royal Infirmary


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Intro music by The Model Folk