The Inquiry

Following the forced landing, Captain Hanley and First Officer Whyte indicated their belief that icing in the fuel lines was the cause of the engine failures.

In May of 1953, an Official Inquiry into the crash of the St. Kieran was held. The results of that inquiry were that the engine failure was due to the failure of Captain Hanley to correctly select fuel tanks, thereby starving the engines. Despite its power to do so under Regulation 10(8), the Court presiding over the inquiry made no recommendation as to any endorsement or revocation or cancellation of the Pilots’ Licences.

Regardless of inconsistencies in the information presented to the inquiry, and withholding of reports, the then Minister for Industry and Commerce, on the sole recommendation of the Secretary and against the views of the Chief Aeronautical Officer, decided that Captain Hanley should never again fly passenger aircraft, thus effectively ended Captain Hanley’s flying career.

Presented here is documentation relating to the forced landing and the inquiry, as well as numerous other documents exploring the facts surrounding the issues. Many are presented with commentary explaining their relevance. For the sake of readability, some documents have been re-typed.

The 2011 Update presents accident investigation evidence from from the crash of British Airways Flight 38 (BA 38), on January 17, 2008, where evidence shows icing reduced fuel flow. Fuel flow reduction due to icing had always been believed to be implicated in the crash of Aer Lingus flight EI-ACF by Captain Hanley and family. While the crash of BA 38 was indeed unfortunate, this new evidence shows that such an incident is not only possible, but is also clearly implicated in the case of BA 38 (and other cases cited in the BA 38 investigation).

The sections are an introduction (including the original press article from the day after the crash - 23 pages, 512kb), the inquiry (43 pages, 447kb) and analysis (61 pages, 1.2mb), and a 2011 update (30 pages, 2mb). We also include further supporting documents and commentary (159 pages, 6.9mb), a section of the original transcripts (56 pages, 3.2mb) reproduced, and a LARGE zipped Photo Archive (27mb) of high-quality (.bmp) photos of the accident site.