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Last updated: 24 September 2021
Date:Thursday 17 March 1955
Type:Vickers 616 Viking 1B
Operator:Central African Airways
Registration: VP-YEX
MSN: 159
First flight: 1946-11-27 (8 years 4 months)
Crew:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 5
Passengers:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 23
Total:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 28
Aircraft damage: Damaged beyond repair
Location:Salisbury-Belvedere (   Zimbabwe)
Phase: Approach (APR)
Nature:International Scheduled Passenger
Departure airport:Johannesburg International Airport (JNB/FAJS), South Africa
Destination airport:Salisbury Airport (HRE/FVHA), Zimbabwe
Flightnumber: 120
Flight 120 took off from Jan Smuts Airport at 11:15 for a flight to Salisbury. The Vickers Viking undershot the Salisbury runway 27 on final approach, causing severe damage to the right hand undercarriage and (no. 2) engine. The aircraft finally came to rest 300-400yds further on.

Probable Cause:

PROBABLE CAUSE: "The accident was neither caused by mechanical defect of the aircraft nor by the conduct of the pilot. It was caused by a combination of circumstances which can only be described as unusual and unexpected. Had the sudden downpour of rain not taken place at the critical moment, it is almost certain that no accident would have occurred."


» ICAO Accident Digest Circular 50-AN/45 (79-85)


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This map shows the airport of departure and the intended destination of the flight. The line between the airports does not display the exact flight path.
Distance from Johannesburg International Airport to Salisbury Airport as the crow flies is 955 km (597 miles).

This information is not presented as the Flight Safety Foundation or the Aviation Safety Network’s opinion as to the cause of the accident. It is preliminary and is based on the facts as they are known at this time.
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