The Forced Landing
New Year's Day (January 1), 1953
Aer Lingus flight EI-ACF (the "St. Kieran," a DC3 airliner), en route from Dublin and descending for landing, at 5500 feet lost first one engine and then (at 4400' approx.) lost the other. Minutes later, the "St. Kieran" made a forced landing approximately 14 miles from it's destination, Birmingham Airport. Due to the experience and skill of the Pilot-in-Command, Capt. Tommy Hanley, none of the 22 passengers were injured, although one member of the crew sustained injuries.
According to press reports at the time, the plane was severely damaged, with only the fuselage and port wing remaining intact. After a descent on instruments, Captain Hanley guided the plane in for an emergency landing, avoiding wires, trees, and a farmhouse, having emerged from the cloud cover only a few hundred feet above the ground.
The following pages examine the controversy surrounding the first inquiry, including original documents and photos, as well as a 2011 update with relevant information from BA Flight 38 (fuel flow reduction due to icing).