Piper Aztec 250 G-AYSF

Firthybrig Head, Dumfries/Galloway













Aircraft Photo / Type Photo



Pre-Accident photo of G-AYSF — the aircraft featured on this page.




BELOW: A typical Piper PA-E (Aztec) Series 250 light aircraft.


A Piper Aztec 250 in flight


Photo: 'Fly-by-Owen'


Released by the author to the public domain under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License, Version 1.2 or later. [Wikimedia]



A French registered Piper Aztec 250.


french registered piper aztec


Photo: 2009 'DoudouZ'


Released by the author to the public domain under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License, Version 1.2 or later. [Wikimedia]






Aircraft Type and Background


Piper PA-E-23 (Aztec) Series 250  /  G-AYSF



(General Aviation / Civil)



First entering production in 1954, the Piper Aztec was a light aircraft designed for company or private use, or for private air charters.


The Apache / Aztec was Piper's first twin-engine aircraft.


The earlier versions of this light aircraft were known as Piper Apaches and were equipped with either four or five seats. Later, modified versions were known as Piper Aztecs. These were equipped with six seats and more powerful engines.


In 1958, Piper produced an upgraded version of the Apache, equipped with two 250hp Lycoming  I0-540-C4B5 engines. This aircraft was designated the PA-23-250 and was renamed Aztec. The aircraft featured on this page (a PA-E-23 (Aztec) 250) was of this type. (The letter E in the designation code indicates a variant with a longer pointed nose and a single piece windshield.)



BELOW: The instrument panel of a Piper Aztec 250 light aircraft.


piper aztec instrument panel


Photo released by author under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 License. [Wikimedia]







Aircraft Accident Details


Piper Aztec G-AYSF was on a charter flight from Blackpool Airport to Perth Airport at New Scone [map] in Scotland.


The aircraft maintained contact with Air Traffic Control until shortly after passing over the Scottish Borders, heading for Talla VOR / DME1 the air traffic control beacon located on the summit of Broad Law, W of Megget  Reservoir.


However, the aircraft failed to arrive over the VOR. It had crashed at a high rate of descent into Firthybrig Head [map] about 3.5nm short of Talla VOR and about 7nm NE of Moffat in Dumfries and Galloway.


On impact with the ground, the resulting fuel spillage caused an intense fire, reducing much of the aircraft to ashes.



Footnote 1:


VOR: VHF Omnidirectional Range (navigation system).


DME: Distance Measuring Equipment



Air Accident Investigation Branch Report


At the subsequent AAIB Inquiry, it was believed that the pilot lost control of the aircraft when the left engine faileddue, apparently to a severe oil leakand he was unable to feather the propeller on that engine. Consequently, the aircraft began to lose height rapidly until it spun into the hillside.


The full Air Accident Investigation Branch Report can be seen here.





AIB Reference:-  55degs 26min N, 03degs 21min W is incorrect.


GRID :- 315772  617195 Derived from AIB Ref and Photos—confirmed by Glasgow Herald report.


AIB Reports:







(Glasgow Herald article.)






Glasgow Herald article - columns 1-2


Glasgow Herald article - columns 3-4


Glasgow Herald article - column 5







Aircraft Pilot / Passenger Casualties


All six occupants (the pilot and five passengers) died in this accident. These were:




  • Eric Scott (22), Pilot.



  • Peter Cunningham Scott (37).

  • William Fehilly (44), Owner of Top Flight Leisure.

  • Liam Stuart Fehilly (11).

  • William James McDougall Storm (48), Director of Top Flight Leisure.

  • David Vincent Moran (31), Director of Top Flight Leisure.


Millionaire and bingo hall ownerBill Fehilly was manager of two very popular Scottish Rock Bands: Nazareth, and The Sensational Alex Harvey Band.







Crash Site Photos



Pre-accident aircraft photo, crash site maps, and wreckage photos, etc.


(Above link will open in Microsoft Excel or compatible spreadsheet program. There may be a slight delay after loading the aircraft photo while Excel loads the remaining  data.)




[Information in the preceding Panels has been augmented by more detailed information, maps, and photo links kindly provided by Alan Thomson.]




















Crash Date / Site



Accident Date: 27 Jul 1976


Accident Site:

Firthybrig Head (763m)


(Firthybrig Head lies on the NW side of Loch Skeen [map])


Region: Scottish Borders / Dumfries and Galloway boundary.


Nearest town or village:



Nearest large towns:

Selkirk (NE) or Dumfries (SW)


OS Grid Ref. N/A


GPS Ref. N/A


Latitude / Longitude (approx.)


55° 26' N  03° 21'W


Present Condition: Unknown




Aircraft Details



Registration or Serial: G-AYSF


Operator: Air Navigation Training Company, Blackpool.


(Aircraft on charter to McDonald Aviation Company Ltd. Dundee.)


Departure Airport: Blackpool Airport (charter flight)


Airport Location: Blackpool, England.


Current Airport Status: Operational Civil Airport


Current Airport Name: Blackpool International Airport, EGNH (formerly, Squires Gate Airport)



Destination Airport: Perth Airport, Scotland. EGPT


Airport Location: New Scone, Perth, Scotland.


Current Airport Status: Operational General Aviation (non-commercial) Airport.


Current Airport Name: Perth Airport





Related Links


Piper Links

A Piper PA-23-250 Aztec taking off from Peter O'Knight Airport (YouTube video with sound: 25 seconds)

A Piper Aztec landing. Video showing approach and landing from pilot's perspective with instrument panel and other controls in sight. (YouTube video: 4 mins. 17 secs.)

Piper Aviation


Other Links

Air Accident Investigation Branch (AAIB).

AAIB Accident Report for this aircraft.




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