Saturday, January 27, 2018

How crazy is this, airplane crashed onto a roof... no one was injured, and the plane just sat there!

The house at 46 Angus Drive, Ruislip, Middlesex, (a London suburb) was an incredible structure  that didn't buckle under the crash landing of this airplane.

Irene Zigmund spoke of the incredible escape of herself and her 4-month old-son David, who was asleep in his cot upstairs when Railway Air Services DC-3 G-AGZA landed on the house, which is now known as 'Dakota's Rest'. The crash landing on the houses earned the Captain the nickname "Rooftop Johnson".

The plane only took off from RAF Northolt on Dec 19th 1946 when the crash occurred, it hadn't had the snow cleaned off the wings

The Dakota was ready to depart from Northolt Airport to Glasgow and had a total of four crew and one passenger on board. The aircraft had been de-iced since it was a cold, snowy evening which had delayed the departure.

 While the Dakota was waiting the temperature dropped and snow was falling and froze on the wings. The plane was finally ready for departure and taxied into position for take-off. The snow storm had closed the airport to incoming traffic and outbound traffic was subject to long delays. The aircraft had been waiting for more than an hour for clearance

When the pilot accelerated down the runway he noticed that when the aircraft lifted off, it could not gain any height, the ice had packed on on the wings, disturbed the air flow, and the aircraft wasn't getting any height.

 It was however too late to abort take-off so the crew tried to get the aircraft to climb. The aircraft flew only a few feet over rooftops straight down Angus Drive from the end of the runway until the left wing contacted taller rooftops and the aircraft slewed through 90 degrees and came to rest on the roof of a house.

G-AGZA was severely damaged and radio officer Murdoch was fortunate that he wasn't sitting in his seat as some metalwork was pushed through the seat and it would probably have killed him had he been sitting there.

In fact no one was even injured in the incident, the crew and passenger all descended into the house's loft, down the loft ladder onto the landing and then down stairs out the front door


  1. Anonymous2:47 PM

    Planes do weird things sometimes. Probably a result of the fact that take off speed isn't all that high in good conditions, so with icing, the DC-3 was flying so slowly that after clipping a building lost more airspeed, and finally was stopped by a sturdy roof. There's the great story of a USAF F-106 that the pilot lost control of, and ejected from, the ejection pushed the nose of the aircraft down, it righted itself and glided gently into a freshly plowed field. They were able to recover the jet, and with some minor repairs it flew again.

    1. posted that jet 4 years ago, great true story!