Vickers Viscount G-AOHI

Ben More, Crianlarich, Stirling













Aircraft Type Photo


BELOW: A BEA Vickers 802 Viscount at London (Heathrow) Airport.


A BEA Vickers Viscount at London Heathrow airport


Photo: 1964 Adrian Pingstone (Arpingstone).
(Released by the author to the public domain)





Aircraft Type and Background


BEA Vickers 802 Viscount / G-AOHI


The Vickers Viscount was a turboprop aircraft introduced in 1953. It was equipped with 4 Rolls-Royce Dart engines.

For its day, The Vickers Viscount was a very comfortable aircraft and especially quiet and vibration-free during flight. Initial types included the 630 and 700 series Viscounts. The BEA versions of these types could carry 32 passengers.

The later 800 series was known as the Super Viscount, and this type could carry up to 71 passengers. BEA (and later, BA) continued to operate Viscounts until the 1980's.


BELOW: Viscount Stephen Piercey. This is another aircraft of the same type. This preserved Viscount is on display at Brooklands Museum


Another Vickers Viscount on display at Brooklands Museum


Photo: copyright © 2008 James Towill





Aircraft Accident Details                      


A few days before the accident, the crew had logged problems with the autopilot and aileron controls of this aircraft. Engineers at Prestwick checked the aircraft, but could find no fault. However, the flight crew still believed that a problem existed, and flew the aircraft to Glasgow for a more extensive check by ground engineers. Again, no problems could be found using the test equipment, or by visual examination.


Nevertheless, the two engineers involved requested that an air test be performed so that they could examine the aircraft controls in flight. This was arranged, and later the aircraft was taken by a standby crew, led by Captain Walter Durward, on a test flight from Glasgow Airport.


The aircraft then proceeded N from Glasgow, and was about to return to the airport when it crashed about 600ft NE of, and about 100ft below, the summit of Ben More (3,852ft). Wreckage was scattered widely on the hillside and down a gulley. Some of the wreckage rolled downhill to Ben More Burn, at the western base of the mountain. This Ben More is E of Crianlarich, and about 56 kms (35 miles) N of Glasgow.


RAF Leuchars and RAF Kinloss Mountain Rescue Teams (MRTs), together with police and civilian climbers, searched for and located the accident site, but no survivors were found. The bodies were recovered from Ben More on the following day by the Special Air Service (SAS). Also assisting in the recovery was a British Executive Air Services (BEAS) helicopter.


Poor weather conditions were prevailing at the time, with rain and snow persisting. According to the accident report, the accident was due to pilot error. The report concluded that the pilot failed to maintain a safe altitude and also failed to give sufficient attention to navigation while flying VFR (Visual Flight Rules).





Aircraft Crew / Ground Crew Casualties


Four people died in this accident. These were:

  • Captain Walter Durward (42), (Pilot (standby crew)).

  • Stanley Ernest Robert Kemp (40), (Second Officer / Co-Pilot (standby crew) / former RAF pilot)

  • Paddy Quinn, (Engineer (ground crew))

  • Jimmy Moore, (Engineer (ground crew)).





Memorial Photos


BELOW: Situated in the village of Crianlarich, this memorial is dedicated to the Captain and crew of the Vickers Viscount G-AOHI which crashed at Ben More in 1973.


This photo of the memorial at Crianlarich was taken on the 32nd anniversary of the accident. A memorial service was held at the spot, attended by over 80 people.


Memorial to the Captain and crew of Viscount G-AOHI. This memorial is situated in the village of Crianlarich.


Photo © 2007 Michael Durward



BELOW: Memorial plaque enlarged to show inscription.


Close of plaque on memorial


Photo © 2007 Michael Durward



BELOW: Another view of the memorial plaque.


Another view of the memorial plaque at Crianlarich


Photo: © 2007 James Towill






Crash Site Photos


BELOW: A metal fragment from the Vickers Viscount crash on Ben More (Crianlarich).


This fragment was found while walking down the NW slope, and at a small crag some 100m below the top.


a metal fragment from the Viscount crash on Ben More


Photo: © 2013 Vladimira Moulisova



BELOW: A small section of wreckage lies in a burn near the summit of Ben More.


wreckage section lying in burn on ben more


Photo: © 2010 Martin



BELOW: Part of a rotating light (beacon) assembly from the Viscount


part of a light assembly from the viscount


Photo: © 2010 Martin



BELOW: Close-up view of the rotating beacon plate.


a closer view of the light assembly


Photo: © 2010 Martin



BELOW: Possibly, beacon or instrument glass fragment.


a fragment of beacon light or instrument glass


Photo: © 2010 Martin



BELOW: Closer view of glass fragment.


closer view of glass fragment


Photo: © 2010 Martin



BELOW: Unidentified fragment from the Viscount.


unidentified fragment from the viscount


Photo: © 2010 Martin



BELOW: A small plate from the wreckage.


a small plate from the wreckage


Photo: © 2010 Martin












Earlier Photos


BELOW: Fragments of wreckage from the Viscount.


Fragments of wreckage from the Vickers Viscount


Photo: © 2007 James Towill



BELOW: Reverse side of fragment shown above.


Reverse side of fragment shown above.


Photo: © 2007 James Towill



BELOW: The summit of Ben More viewed from the air. It was close to this rugged peak that the tragic accident occurred in 1973.


Aerial view of Ben More showing the crash site close to the summit


Photo © 2007 Simon Smith



BELOW: Ben More from NE side looking toward the summit.


Ben More from NE side looking toward the summit


Photo: © 2007 James Towill



BELOW: Viscount crash site on the slopes of Ben More.


Viscount crash site on the slopes of Ben More


Photo: © 2007 James Towill 





Photo Gallery


There are no additional photos of this aircraft in the Photo Gallery. However, see Eddie's Photo Archive for some additional photos of remaining wreckage.
























Crash Date / Site


Accident Date: 19 Jan 1973


Accident Site:

Ben More (1,174m / 3,852ft)



Region: Stirling


Nearest town or village:



Nearest large town:

None in this general area. Nearest available: Perth (E) or Alexandria (S)


OS Grid Ref: N/A


GPS Ref. N/A


Present Condition: Almost all known remains have been removed from this site. However, a monument at Crianlarich stands as a permanent memorial to Captain Walter Durward and his crew.




Aircraft Details


Registration or Serial: G-AOHI


Operator:  British European Airways (BEA)


Operating Base: Glasgow Airport


Base Location: Abbotsinch, near Glasgow


Current Airport Status: Operational Civil Airport.


Current Airport Name: BAA Glasgow International Airport (EGPF) [Map and Photos]



Principal airport data courtesy of John Woodside, A Catalogue of UK Airfields





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