Operator: British European Airways (BEA)
Accident Date: 21 April 1948
Accident Site: Irish Law
Aircraft Accident Details
This aircraft had started its journey from London Northolt airport (c.6 miles from the present Heathrow) and was about to make its final approach to its destination airport—the former Glasgow Renfrew aerodrome.
Apparently, however, the pilot experienced some difficulty in locating the landing approach beacon. This situation was exacerbated by severe turbulence together with low cloud and mist over the hills. Consequently, the pilot began his descent either too early in, or too far north of, his approach pattern causing him to strike the hillside at Irish Law.
Fortunately, the 16 passengers and 4 crew escaped serious injury, and managed to make their way clear of the stricken aircraft just before it was engulfed in flames.
Although shocked and badly shaken, the pilot—Captain John Ramsden of Glasgow—and one of the passengers managed to make their way westward across the rugged moorland in the darkness. Three hours later, they arrived at Largs, where they raised the alarm. Meanwhile, some of the other survivors, led by First Officer D. P. Clifton, had managed to reach Flatt Farm in Largs.
Other members of the group sought help in the opposite direction. From Irish Law, and with the aid of a miniature compass, they made their way eastward to Ladyland House near Kilbirnie, where they sought assistance for their plight.