During its takeoff from runway 26 at Luton Airport the aircraft did not leave the ground until very near the end of the runway. After taking off it struck the centre section of the Instrument Landing System (ILS) localiser aerial array, sited beyond the end of the runway, and a number of the approach lights of runway 08. Although the aircraft suffered damage it climbed away successfully and later made a normal landing at Gatwick Airport.
The accident resulted from the cumulative effect of three factors viz:
(i) The erosion of the take-off run available,
(ii) the delay in starting rotation, and
(iii) the very slow rate of rotation.
Factors which contributed to (i) above were:
1. Loss of effective take-off run available due to positioning from a 180 degree turn for start of take-off.
2. Check setting to 1.4 EPR whilst rolling.
3. Incorrect setting of take-off thrust.
4. The effect of a probable 06 knot tail wind component.