Invicta International Airlines Flight 435

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Invicta International Airlines Flight 435

A Invicta International Airlines Vickers Vanguard, similar to the one involved in the crash
Occurrence summary
Date 10 April 1973
Summary Controlled flight into terrain
Site 300 m south of the Herrenmatt hamlet, Hochwald, Switzerland
Passengers 139
Crew 6
Injuries (non-fatal) 36
Fatalities 108
Survivors 37
Aircraft type Vickers Vanguard
Operator Invicta International Airlines
Registration G-AXOP
Flight origin Bristol Lulsgate Airport
Destination Basle-Mulhouse Airport
Memorial near Herrenmatt/Hochwald
Flight path of Invicta Airlines Flight 435 according to the flight data recorder recording

On 10 April 1973 Invicta International Airways Flight 435 was a Vickers Vanguard 952, flying from Bristol Lulsgate to Basel-Mulhouse that ploughed into a snowy, forested hillside near Hochwald, Switzerland. It somersaulted and broke up, killing 108 with 37 survivors. Many of the 139 passengers on the charter flight were women—members of the Axbridge Ladies Guild—from the Somerset, England villages of Axbridge,[1] Cheddar, Winscombe and Congresbury.[2][3][4] The accident left 55 children motherless.[1]

Pilot Anthony Dorman became disoriented, misidentifying two radio beacons and missing another.[1] When co-pilot Ivor Terry took over, his final approach was based on the wrong beacon and the aircraft crashed into the hillside.[1] Dorman had previously been suspended from the Royal Canadian Air Force for lack of ability, and had failed his United Kingdom instrument flying rating eight times.[5] As a result of the crash tougher regulations were introduced in the UK.

Despite the conclusions of the official Swiss report, one commentator, ex-KLM pilot Jan Bartelski, has argued that the pilots may not have been entirely to blame and there is a possibility that they were led off course by "ghost" beacon transmissions caused by electric power lines.[6]


  1. ^ a b c d Faith, Nicholas (1996). Black Box. Boxtree. p. 166. ISBN 0-7522-1084-X. 
  2. ^ "Fatal fatigue". Time. 23 April 1973. 
  3. ^ Hansard 11 April 1973
  4. ^ "Report No: 11/1975. Vickers Vanguard 952, G-AXOP. Report on the accident at Hochwald/Solothurn, Switzerland, on 10 April 1973". Air Accidents Investigation Branch. 1975. 
  5. ^ Forman, Patrick (1990). Flying into danger: the hidden facts about air safety. Heinemann. pp. 5, 111. ISBN 978-0-434-26864-1. 
  6. ^ Bartelski, Jan (2001) Disasters in the Air. Airlife Publishing Ltd. pp 208-229 ISBN 1-84037-204-4

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 47°27′15″N 7°37′24″E / 47.45417°N 7.62333°E / 47.45417; 7.62333