Żurrieq Scottish Airlines crash

The Żurrieq Scottish Airlines crash was an air accident that happened on 18 February 1956. A Scottish Airlines Avro York crashed after takeoff from Luqa Airport in Malta on a trooping flight from the Suez Canal Zone to London Stansted Airport.[1][2] The disaster killed all 50 passengers and crew on board the aircraft; all passengers except one (a British Army private) were Royal Air Force personnel.[2]

Żurrieq Scottish Airlines crash
Avro 685 York C.1 G-AMUM Scottish Als LAP 06.53 edited-2.jpg
An Avro York of Scottish Airlines similar that involved in the accident
Date18 February 1956
SummaryPilot error
SiteNear Żurrieq, Malta
Aircraft typeAvro York
OperatorScottish Airlines
Flight originLuqa Airport, Malta
DestinationLondon Stansted Airport, United Kingdom
Memorial of the accident in Żurrieq


The accident happened on 18 February 1956 when the Avro York, registration G-ANSY, took off from Luqa Airport, Malta at 12:21 UTC time on a flight to London Stansted Airport with 45 passengers and five crew aboard. Shortly after becoming airborne, the boost enrichment capsule in the carburetor of the number one engine failed, and the engine caught fire. The pilots failed to feather the propeller as the aircraft slowly climbed to 700–800 feet; they then made a left turn to return to the airport. Shortly after retracting the flaps, the aircraft went into a nose-up attitude at very low speed. This resulted in a stall, which caused the aircraft to enter an unrecoverable dive. It crashed into the ground near the town of Żurrieq killing all 50 passengers and crew on board.[3]


The reported mechanical cause was failure of the number one engine. However, this was compounded by a loss of speed and consequent loss of control through pilot error.


There is memorial at the National Memorial Arboretum, a British site of national remembrance at Alrewas, near Lichfield, Staffordshire.[4] Another memorial is located at Il-Ġibjun Gardens in Żurrieq, Malta, close to the crash site.[5]


  1. ^ "50 Killed in Air Crash. Scots Among Victims". The Glasgow Herald. 20 February 1956. p. 8. Retrieved 17 March 2018.
  2. ^ a b "50 Killed In Malta Crash." Times [London, England] 20 Feb. 1956: 6. The Times Digital Archive. Web. 20 Jan. 2016.
  3. ^ Testa, Michael (18 February 2006). "Crash that killed 50". Times of Malta. Retrieved 24 July 2017.
  4. ^ "Malta Plane Crash Memorial". militaryimages.net. 15 June 2018. Archived from the original on 26 May 2021.
  5. ^ 35°49′22″N 14°28′04″E / 35.82278°N 14.46778°E / 35.82278; 14.46778Coordinates: 35°49′22″N 14°28′04″E / 35.82278°N 14.46778°E / 35.82278; 14.46778

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