ASN logo
Date:Saturday 16 February 1980
Type:Bristol 175 Britannia 253
Operator:Redcoat Air Cargo
Registration: G-BRAC
MSN: 13448
First flight: 1959
Total airframe hrs:21963
Engines: 4 Rolls-Royce Proteus 790
Crew:Fatalities: 4 / Occupants: 5
Passengers:Fatalities: 3 / Occupants: 3
Total:Fatalities: 7 / Occupants: 8
Aircraft damage: Destroyed
Aircraft fate: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Location:Billerica, MA (   United States of America)
Phase: En route (ENR)
Departure airport:Boston-Logan International Airport, MA (BOS/KBOS), United States of America
Destination airport:Shannon Airport (SNN/EINN), Ireland
Flightnumber: 103
Flight 103 took off from Boston runway 33L at 14:08 in bad weather (800 m visibility in snow, fog and moderate to severe icing in precipitation).
The cargo aircraft reached an altitude of 1700 feet after takeoff and started to descend. The aircraft descended into a wooded area and crashed.

Probable Cause:

PROBABLE CAUSE: "Degraded aerodynamic performance beyond the flight capabilities of the aircraft resulting from an accumulation of ice and snow on the airframe before take-off and a further accumulation of ice when the aircraft was flown into moderate to severe icing conditions following take-off.
Contributing were encounters with windshear, downdraughts and turbulence during the climb. The failure of the flight crew to obtain an adequate pre-flight weather briefing and the failure of the National Weather Service to advise the crew of a SIGMET for severe icing conditions were also contributing factors."

Accident investigation:
Investigating agency: NTSB
Status: Investigation completed
Duration: 1 year
Accident number: NTSB/AAR-81-3
Download report: Final report
Language: English

» NTSB Safety Recommendations A-81-18
» NTSB-AAR-81-3

Follow-up / safety actions

NTSB issued 6 Safety Recommendations

Show all...


photo of Bristol-175-Britannia-253-G-BRAC
accident date: 16-02-1980
type: Bristol 175 Britannia 253
registration: G-BRAC
photo of Bristol-175-Britannia-253-G-BRAC
accident date: 16-02-1980
type: Bristol 175 Britannia 253
registration: G-BRAC

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 Boston-Logan International Airport, MA to Shannon Airport as the crow flies is 4614 km (2884 miles).
Accident location: Exact; as reported in the official accident report.

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.
languages: languages


The Aviation Safety Network is an exclusive service provided by:
Quick Links:

CONNECT WITH US: FSF Facebook FSF Twitter FSF Youtube FSF LinkedIn FSF Instagram

©2022 Flight Safety Foundation

701 N. Fairfax St., Ste. 250
Alexandria, Virginia 22314