G-ALAL 2 L749A Constellation Ace Freighters LPL 02JUL66

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    Oops!!! The ramp at the old Liverpool (LPL) terminal sloped away from the terminal quite sharply. This aircraft arrived from Belfast (BFS) with around 8,000kgs of cigarettes (although it was actually over 11,000kgs... but that's another story!). It was 3 tonnes overweight and also out of trim. I met it on arrival and as it stopped and they cut the engines, the nosewheel lifted about 6" off the ground before slowly settling back on the ramp. I collected the loadsheet and as I walked back to the office I was wondering what would happen when the 4 crew got off the flight deck and our 6 hulking loaders jumped on the back to start the offload. At that moment there was a sickening crunch and thud and I turned round to see it on it's tail... (make sure you click on the 'Lockheed Constellation' set to see following photo's)

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    1. i.helsby 27 months ago | reply

      I bet you could not believe your eyes, I wonder what it would have been like to fly, being so far out of trim.

    2. Ken Fielding 26 months ago | reply

      The crew didn't say anything at all. I remember we (British Eagle) used to operate a Viscount Combi service Liverpool/Dublin. One morning I was staring out of the office window watching it depart and it lifted off mainwheels first... "Funny!" I thought, "I don't think it should do that". I asked the Load Controller to bring the loadsheet in so I could have a look. At first glance the trimsheet looked OK but then I realised he'd trimmed some of the cargo 'against the arrows' on the trim sheet (no electronic weight & balance those days, it was all on paper!). When I reworked it the trim was way outside the envelope. When the aircraft returned I had to go and meet it to apologise to the Captain (I was the shift Duty Officer!). Fortunately It was a guy I knew well and he didn't report the Load Controller. He said it took a 'bit of heaving' to get it off the runway and when they got to Dublin 'it went down on it's own'. I keep saying I should write a book!!!

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