11th October 2013
A Trislander ate itself between Jersey and Guernsey
When passengers filed off Aurigny’s Trislander G-RLON on 11 October 2013, they noticed something strange had happened to the tail engine. Part of the housing had come away and caught on the propellors during its flight from Jersey to Guernsey. The propellors were slightly damaged as a result.
The flight had landed safely with 15 passengers and one crew member onboard, none of whom had noticed any problems. However, it was still classed as a serious incident by the Air Accident Investigation Board.
When put in for repair, the engineers observed that cracks to the cowling on aircraft as old as these Trislanders wasn’t unusual. Nonetheless, they hadn’t seen one that had lost its fastenings before – as this one had.
G-RLON strikes again
Four years earlier, the same aircraft had had to return to Guernsey Airport shortly after taking off. On that occasion, a warning light in the cockpit indicated that the nose baggage bay door had opened. While still over the sea, the door separated.
An examination of other Trislanders in the fleet showed that they were exhibiting some wear around the same latching mechanism. As a result, manufacturer Britten-Norman issued a Service Bulletin specifying an inspection of the latch.
G-RLON was retired in February 2017 and sent to the Solent Sky Museum where it was put on display. It completed more flights than any other Aurigny Trislander. According to the Guernsey Airport website, it racked up more than 32,600 hours in the air and 105,000 landings. The RLON part of its name stood for Royal London Insurance, which used to advertise on the exterior of the craft.