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24 September 2014

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You are in: Manchester > History > History features > Stockport air crash

Stockport air crash

Forty years on, survivors and families of the victims of the Stockport air crash have been remembering the tragedy. Post your memories of the disaster here:

Stockport air crash [pic: Stockport Council]

The crash site [pic: Stockport Council]

A British Midland flight full of holidaymakers was returning from Mallorca when the pilot suddenly lost power and the aircraft ploughed into a small patch of waste land at Hopes Carr in Stockport town centre at 10.09am on Sunday 4th June, 1967.

A Canadair C-4 Argonaut

Crashed: a Canadair C-4 Argonaut

The plane was a Canadair C-4 Argonaut chartered by Arrowsmith Holidays. Of the 84 passengers and crew, 72 people died. All twelve survivors were seriously hurt. Miraculously, no-one on the ground was killed.

An air accident investigation concluded that that the cause of the crash was 'fuel starvation' as a result of a fault in the fuel lines and poor warning system.

To this date, it remains one of the UK's worst air disasters after Lockerbie in 1988 and Staines 10 years earlier.

A special service for those who perished was held at Hopes Carr on Sunday (3 June 2007) including a minute’s silence for the victims and the planting of a ceremonial rose tree on the site.

Memories

Were you there that day? Maybe you were involved in the rescue operation? What do you remember of the Stockport air crash? Pay your tributes and share your memories using the form below:

Susan Maddocks

Susan Maddocks in 1965

Susan Maddocks in Woodhouse

I have just returned from the commerative service in Stockport re. the above crash and felt the need to look it up on the internet where I found your entry.  I was working as a holiday rep. in Mallorca at the time and can remember the horror when we all heard about the crash at about 8pm that night.  There had just been one in Perpignan (in fact there were three within a week or so) and I was desperate to find out where it had landed as my parents lived near Manchester airport.  We all dashed off to Palma airport at three in the morning and discovered it was an Arrowsmith Holidays flight and it had landed in Stockport.  In those days there was no television or international news in Mallorca, and if you wanted to make an international phone call, you had to book a line a few days in advance and then wait a couple of hours for it to be free.  I had worked for Arrowsmith the last two years and had actually flown on the same flight the year before, but had just transferred to Gaytours, another northern tour operator.  However we still shared the same hotels and I had friends and family of people on the flight still in Mallorca.

It was a very upsetting time for all of us as in those days package holiday travel was like a big club and everyone knew everyone else.  It was interesting to speak to people today who have a totally different viewpoint of the accident.  There were a lot of very brave people who didn't really want to talk about their actions on that day.  Good for Steve Merrin who has pushed for recognition of these people whose quick reactions and selflessness helped to save twelve people - the only survivors of all these crashes.  I recommend you find a book entitled Package Holiday by Vincent Cobb (my boss with Gaytours) ISBN 0-9547280-7-6 available from Amazon, and you will be absolutely shocked by the number of aircraft fatalities in the 60's.  I remember returning to Palma via Valencia one year.  I got a scheduled DC3 from Valencia to Palma which was full, but about 12 of us were allowed on extra and we stood all the way there, including take-off and landing! Unbelievable things happened in those days and no-one got sued!

I attach a photo of me in Arrowsmith uniform, and me (on the left) with our senior Arrowsmith rep. Mel Rosello.  He was involved with some of the people who perished on this aircraft.

Neville Lister in Devon

I was a young man living at home near Debdale Park on 4th June, 1967, and was having a lie-in after a latish Saturday night. Woken by very loud engine noise, the plane seemed to go right over the house. Told my mother I thought it was going to crash. When it went out of earshot, I thought it might have made it OK, but sadly I was wrong. Felt sick next day when my friend at work told me how he (and many others) had made a trip through the heavy traffic just to see the scene of the accident.

I was living near Staines in 1972 when the Trident came down. That time I couldn't avoid passing the crash site on my way back home, but I have never understood the attraction of ogling at tragedy.

Stephen Varey

I was 10 years old when the plane crashed. It's on of my abiding childhood memories. We lived in Audenshaw and were used to planes passing overhead at about 3000ft. My Dad and I were just getting into our car when the plane came over our houses, very low, so low and so loud that you knew instantly that something was dreadfully wrong. We continued our journey to visit relatives in Wythenshawe and it was only then that we found out a plane had crashed in Stockport.

last updated: 19/03/2008 at 15:34
created: 04/06/2007

Have Your Say

The BBC reserves the right to edit comments submitted.

jayde
I was not actually born when the crash happened. I heared about it off my parents and wanted to find some research on it, i think that people my age 17 and younger need to be actually filled in at schools about stockports history, this is something i feel strongly about as i live in edgeley and have only recently found out about the disaster

jacqueline sayburn
I remember the plane crash,its a day il never forget.My family and myself were having breakfast when we heard the plane going over our house in Glebe street.We ran to the back door and the sight that met us was one of horror.I remember looking up and the plane was that low you could actually see the peaple inside banging on the windows.I was 13 at the time and my brother was 11.We thought it was going to crash in the feild at the back of our house but it started to rise again.We watched it as it rose and a few minutes later it went down and there was an explosion.At this point we were all in shock.My father myself and my brother started to make our way to the crash sight and as we got closer there were people stood on doorsteps with looks of horror on their faces.When we got there my father went to help and told my brother and myself to wait nearby.We watched as people rushed to try and get people out.It was terrible and the sights we saw were frightening.It made me ill for monthes after and all i could think about was the poor peaple on the plane.Its a day il never forget and hopefully never see again.I think all the rescuers deserve a medal.

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