G-ATEK

748 G-ATEK

Hawker Siddeley 748-222 Sr2A – c/n 1588

With Channel from Mar 1966 to May 1968

This aircraft was the second H.S 748 to enter service with Channel despite the fact that it was the last airframe of its type to have been purchased by the airline. She was delivered to SEN on March 28th 1966 and began operations, two days later on a trip to both Jersey and Guernsey from Southend. However, I.T charters would make up a good deal of Echo Kilo’s early career opening the Southend-Rimini route on May 13th and then going on to fly to a good number of other I.T destinations which included Barcelona, Bordeaux, Perpignan and Valencia during the summer. However, she would also be seen on the Portsmouth services, an airfield where the 748 was ideally suited to operate from, due to its grass landing strip. The year 1967 continued much as before, although later on in the season, she would be called upon to help the Viscounts by bringing passengers in to Southend on the feeder routes from Castle Donington (East Midlands) and Ipswich.

However, on August 15th 1967, G-ATEK would be one of two Channel’s H.S 748s to skid of off Portsmouth’s soaking wet runway, almost writing herself off in the process. This flight had taken off from Southend bound for Paris with a stop over in Portsmouth. On the approach to Portsmouth, nothing seemed untoward and Echo Kilo made a normal touchdown, albeit a few hundred feet to the left of the grass landing strip. While the landing seemed normal at first with the aircraft decelerating, the aircraft was not slowing quickly enough and with the end of the runway looming ever closer, the crew attempted to turn the aircraft, initiating a slide which continued sideways until the aircraft collided with an earth embankment that ripped off the undercarriage and thus caused yet more damage to the engines and underside of the aircraft. Thankfully, there were no serious injuries and the 23 passengers and crew disembarked safely. However, less than two hours later, Channel 748 G-ATEH would also be involved in a similar accident at this airfield, resulting in significant damage to this aircraft too.

While the damage was quite extensive, being as both aircraft were relatively new, the decision was taken to repair them and return them to service. G-ATEK was put up on trestles at Portsmouth and after seven months and some essential repair work, made a post-crash ferry flight back to Southend on February 21st 1968. There was still a good deal of work to do and as such, she would not be ready for operations again until April 11th when she flew off to service the Castle Donington feeder route for a week. However, it would seem that Channel were now determined to slowly rid themselves of their 748s and by mid-1968, all but one had been disposed of. As far as G-ATEK was concerned, she made her final flight on April 21st returning from Ostend and was then stored until mid-May until being sold to LIAT. While most of Channel’s 748s would never see Southend again, Echo Kilo returned in 1988 having been purchased by Sean T.Hully of Baltic fame. By 1989, the aircraft sat without engines at Southend and by August she had been officially WFU. She was stored at the airport until July 1991 when she was scrapped for parts.

 

History of G-ATEK

3/66 to 5/68

Channel Airways

5/68 to 6/85

LIAT as VP-LIV

6/85 to 3/88

British Aerospace

(Leased to Philippine Airlines as RP-C1041 from 9/85 to 5/87)

3/88 to 7/91

Sean T Hully Sales as G-ATEK

(Leased to BAe – LAR as CS-TAV – Air Senegal as 6V-AFX)

Fate

WFU at Southend and later B/U for spares 7/91

 

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