[Grasshoppair presents...] Leszállás Catanián B737-essel

Leszállásunk Szicília legforgalmasabb reptérén a 26-os pályára.. :)

[Portrait] Katherine Stinson (1891-1977)

The 'Flying Schoolgirl'
Katherine Stinson (February 14, 1891 – July 8, 1977) was born in 1891 in Fort Payne, Alabama. She was the fourth woman in the United States to obtain a pilot's certificate, which she earned on 24 July 1912, at the age of 21 while residing in Pine Bluff, Arkansas. Initially, she planned to get her certificate and use money she earned from exhibition flying to pay for her music lessons. However, she found she liked flying so much that she gave up her piano career and decided to become an aviator. In January 1911, Stinson went to St. Louis to take flight lessons from Tony Jannus who only allowed her to fly as a passenger. She then took her flying lessons from the well-known aviator Max Lillie, a pilot for the Wright Brothers, who initially refused to teach her because she was female. But she persuaded him to give her a trial lesson and was so good that she flew alone after only four hours of instruction. A year after receiving her certificate, she began exhibition flying. On the exhibition circuit, she was known as the "Flying Schoolgirl". Katherine Stinson tried to tell newspaper reporters she was actually 21, not 16 - although they refused to believe her.
After she received her certificate, Stinson and her family moved to San Antonio, Texas, an area with an ideal climate for flying. There, she and her sister Marjorie began giving flying instruction at her family's aviation school in Texas. On July 18, 1915, Stinson became the first woman to perform a loop, at Cicero Field in Chicago, Illinois, and went on to perform this feat some 500 times without a single accident. She also was one of the first women authorized to carry airmail for the United States. During World War I, Stinson flew a Curtiss JN-4D "Jenny" and a Curtiss Stinson-Special (a single seat version of the JN aircraft built to her specifications) for fundraising tours for the American Red Cross. During exhibition flights in Canada, Stinson set a Canadian distance and endurance record, and made the second air mail flight in Canada between Calgary and Edmonton, Alberta in 1918.
On December 11, 1917, Katherine Stinson flew 606 miles from San Diego to San Francisco, setting a new American non-stop distance record.

Of her flight, she later said “It was easy to tell where I was all the time . . . towns, cities, farms, hills and mountains passed rapidly. . . . I never had any fear. The main thing was speed.

A contemporary magazine article described her flight:


Under the auspices of the Pacific Aero Club, Katherine Stinson, on December 11, flew from North Island, San Diego, to the Presidio at San Francisco via inland route, crossing the Tehachapi mountains at 8,000 feet. The official distance covered is 460.18 miles. Time, nine hours, ten minutes; non-stop flight. Left North Island at 7.31 a.m., flew over Tehachapi mountains at 8,000 feet, arrived at San Francisco at 4:41 p.m.

The flight was observed and timed at San Diego by Captain Henry Abbey and Captain Dean Smith, United States Army aviators, and was accompanied as far as Ocean Side by Theodore McCauley, Army Instructor, who piloted a Curtiss reconnaissance machine; the finish was observed and timed by Rear Admiral Chas. F. Pond, U.S.N., President of the Pacific Aero Club; Lowell E. Hardy, Secretary; J.C. Irvine, official observer, Aero Club of America; Robert G. Fowler, Chas F. Craig, and F.C. Porter of the Contest Committee Pacific Aero Club. She was given a very a very hearty reception by thousands of soldiers at the Presidio upon her arrival.

The aeroplane used was built by Curtiss from two lower wings of Curtiss J.N. 4 with triplane fuselage, Curtiss OX2 90–100 H.P. engine.

Miss Stinson is now the only living aviator to fly over the Tehachapi mountains. Silas Christofferson, deceased, was the only other aviator to perform the feat. The performance does not break the American record for distance held by Miss Ruth Law, but establishes a new record for duration cross country flight and is a most remarkable performance.

(Flying, Vol. VI, No. 12, January, 1918, at Page 1063)

During World War I, Katherine Stinson flew exhibitions on behalf of the American Red Cross, raising more than $2,000,000. She attempted to join the Army as a pilot, but instead was sent to Europe as an ambulance driver. In Europe she contracted influenza, which turned into tuberculosis in 1920, causing her retirement from aviation.In 1927, she married airman Miguel Antonio Otero, Jr., son of the former territorial governor of New Mexico. Although she could no longer fly, she became a successful architect in Santa Fe, New Mexico. She died in 1977 at the age of 86.


Katherine and her mother formed the Stinson Aircraft Company, building airplanes designed by her brother, Edward Anderson Stinson, Jr. All of her stunt flying was done in aircraft using the Wright control system which uses two side-mounted levers for pitch and roll, with top mounted controls for throttle and yaw.
  • An early Laird biplane looped by Stinson is on display at the Henry Ford Museum.
  • A replica of her 1918 Curtiss Stinson-Special is on display at the Alberta Aviation Museum in Edmonton.
The second oldest general aviation airport in the United States, Stinson Municipal Airport (KSSF) in San Antonio, Texas, was named in the Stinson family's honor.


Au revoir, B747!

Az F-GITD lajstromú B747-400-as nyugdíjazásával az AirFrance lezár egy korszakot, és végleg búcsút int a Jumbóknak.. :(

[Portrait] Hélène Dutrieu (1877-1961)

Hélène Dutrieu (10 July 1877 – 26 June 1961), was a cycling world champion, stunt cyclist, stunt motorcyclist, automobile racer, stunt driver, pioneer aviator, wartime ambulance driver, and director of a military hospital.


Hélène Dutrieu was born on 10 July 1877 in Tournai. She left school at the age of 14 to earn a living.

Cycling success

Dutrieu became a professional track cyclist racing for the Simpson Lever Chain team. In 1893 she gained the women's world record for distance cycled in one hour. In 1897 and 1898 she won the women's speed track cycling world championship in Ostend, Belgium, and earned the nickname "La Flèche Humaine" ("The Human Arrow"). In August 1898 she won the Grand Prix d’Europe (Grand Prix of Europe) and in November of that year she won the Course de 12 Jours (12-day race) in London, England. Leopold II of Belgium awarded Dutrieu the Cross of St André with diamonds in honour of her cycling success. She later began performing in variety shows as a cycling speciality act and in July 1903 she cycled a loop inside a vertical track at the Eldorado in Marseille, France. In September 1903 she appeared at Olympia, London. She became a successful stunt cyclist, a motorcycle stunt rider, an automobile racer and stunt driver.

Achievements in aviation

Dutrieu learned to fly using a Santos-Dumont Demoiselle monoplane in early 1910. On 19 April 1910 she reputedly became the first woman pilot to fly with a passenger. On 25 November 1910 Dutrieu became the fourth woman in the world, and the first Belgian woman, licensed as an aeroplane pilot, receiving Aéro-Club de Belgique (Aero Club of Belgium) licence #27. In September 1910 Dutrieu flew non-stop from Ostend to Bruges, Belgium. From 26 September to 1 October she flew, frequently carrying passengers, at the aviation week in Burton-upon-Trent, England. She was the first woman pilot to stay airborne for more than an hour and on 21 December 1910 she became the first winner of the Coupe Femina (Femina Cup) for a non-stop flight of 167 km in 2 hours 35 minutes. In 1911 she regained the Coupe Femina temporarily with a flight of 254 km in 2 hours 58 minutes but that year's cup was eventually won by Marie Marvingt. In September 1911 Dutrieu travelled to the United States with her Henry Farman type III biplane. She competed for the women's altitude record and the Rodman-Wanamaker trophy, subsequently won by Matilde Moisant, at the Nassau Boulevard airfield meeting in Garden City, New York. In the same year Dutrieu beat 14 male pilots to win the Coppa del Re (King's Cup) in Florence, Italy. In 1912 she reputedly became the first woman to pilot a seaplane. Later the same year she won a prize in competition against four other seaplane pilots, including Réne Caudron, at Ouchy-Lausanne, Switzerland. In 1913 Dutrieu became the first woman aviator awarded membership of the Légion d'honneur (French Legion of Honour).

World War I and afterwards

During World War I Dutrieu became an ambulance driver. Général Février put her in charge of the ambulances at Messimi Hospital. She later became the director of Campagne à Val-de Grâce military hospital. After the war she became a journalist. In 1922 she married Pierre Mortier and took French nationality. She later became vice president of the women’s section of the Aéro-Club de France (Aero Club of France). In 1953 she was awarded the Médaille de l'Aéronautique (French Medal for Aeronautics). In 1956 she created the Coupe Hélène Dutrieu-Mortier (Hélène Dutrieu-Mortier Cup) with a prize of 200,000 francs for the French or Belgian woman pilot who made the longest non-stop flight each year.

Hélène Dutrieu died in Paris, France, on 26 June 1961, at the age of 83.

  • 1898, awarded the Cross of St. Andre with diamonds by Leopold II of Belgium.
  • 1910 December 21, won the Aéro-Club de France's (Aero Club of France) Coupe Femina (Femina Cup).
  • 1913, named a member of the légion d'honneur (French Legion of Honour).
  • 1953, awarded the Médaille de l'Aéronautique (French Medal for Aeronautics)


[Final report] BA 712

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BA 712

Engine falling down (circled)
BOAC Flight 712 (callsign Speedbird 712) was a British Overseas Airways Corporation service operated by a Boeing 707-465 from London Heathrow Airport bound for Sydney via Zurich and Singapore. On Monday 8 April 1968, it suffered an engine failure on takeoff that quickly led to a major fire. The engine fell off the aircraft in flight. After the aircraft had made a successful emergency landing, confusion over checklists and distractions from the presence of a check captain contributed to the deaths of five of the 127 on board.

The actions taken by those involved in the accident resulted in the award of the George Cross posthumously to stewardess Barbara Jane Harrison. Two other crew members received awards; a BEM and an MBE. As a direct result of the accident, BOAC changed the checklists for engine severe failures and engine fires, combining them both into one checklist, the "engine fire or severe failure" checklist.


Flight 712 took off from Heathrow at 15:27 GMT (16:27 BST), 12 minutes later than scheduled. Flight 712 had 127 people aboard, including a crew augmented by the addition of an acting flight officer, John Hutchinson, and a check captain for routine performance review of the pilot in command, Captain Taylor. As well as the passengers, the aircraft was carrying baggage, mail and a radioactive isotope from the Isotope Production Unit at Harwell destined for the University Hospital in Jerusalem.

Seconds after take off from Heathrow's then 9,000 feet (2,700 m) long runway 28L (now 12,008-foot (3,660 m) long and designated 27L), there was an unexpected bang and the aircraft started vibrating. The throttle controlling number two engine was shutting down. While Captain Taylor ordered an engine failure drill, Flight Engineer Thomas Hicks carried out the engine failure drill, but both he and Check Captain Geoffrey Moss reached for the switch to cancel the undercarriage warning horn. At the same time, First Officer Francis Kirkland inadvertently cancelled the fire bell. Hicks reached for, but didn't pull, the engine fire shut-off handle. Moss, observing the fire, exclaimed "Bloody Hell! The wing's on Fire!" A Mayday was broadcast at 15:29.

In the control tower, the takeoff had been observed by John Davis, who saw what he initially thought was the sun reflecting off the aircraft's wing during its initial climb. Davis quickly realised that the aircraft was on fire. Davis instructed Flight 712 to make a left turn, with the intention that the aircraft would land on runway 28L. He hit the "crash button" which alerted the emergency services and declared an aircraft accident. The emergency services were informed of the type of aircraft involved and given a rendezvous point at which they were to assemble.

By this time, the windows on the port side at the rear of the fuselage were beginning to melt. As the aircraft flew over Thorpe the burning engine broke away from its mounting and fell into a gravel pit where some children were playing, without causing any injury. At this time, the undercarriage was lowered and full flap selected. The flaps stopped some three degrees short of their full travel. The aircraft was at a height of 3,000 feet (910 m) and flying at 225 knots (417 km/h) Cabin crew member Jennifer Suares repeated the emergency landing drill for the benefit of the passengers despite not being sure herself that they would actually manage to land before the aircraft exploded.

The crew realised that the aircraft would not last long enough to enable a landing back on 28L, and declared a Mayday. Davis cleared the aircraft to land on runway 05R, which was 7,733 feet (2,357 m) long. He also instructed two other aircraft to perform a go-around, as runway 05R crossed runway 28R, which they were due to land on and Davis did not know whether Flight 712 would be able to stop before reaching that runway. The crew accepted Davis's offer of runway 05R, even though it was much shorter and not equipped with ILS. Taylor was able to safely land the aircraft on 05R, using wheel brakes and reversing the outboard engines' thrust to halt the aircraft. The aircraft touched down about 400 yards (370 m) beyond the threshold and stopped in 1,400 yards (1,300 m). The aircraft had made a perfect emergency landing after just 3m:32s of flight. Taylor asked Davis for permission to evacuate, but the cabin crew were already opening the emergency doors. The flight crew started the fire drill, but the port wing exploded before this could be completed. As a result, the fire shut off handles were not pulled, and the booster pumps and electrical supply were left switched on. Due to the short period of time between the Mayday being declared at 15:29 and the aircraft landing at 15:31, there was no time for the emergency services to lay a carpet of foam, which was standard practice at the time.


Finally on the ground at Heathrow
The cabin crew started the evacuation, even before the plane had come to a halt, via both forward galley doors, both rear doors and the starboard overwing exits. 18 passengers escaped via the overwing exits before the fire grew too intense to use that route. The forward port galley door escape slide caught fire before it could be used, but one person jumped from there. 84 people escaped via the starboard galley door. Three of the crew escaped by the emergency cockpit rope. The rear starboard door escape slide had twisted on deployment, so Steward Taylor climbed down to straighten it, leaving stewardess Barbara Jane Harrison, known as Jane Harrison, at the door assisting the passengers. Six passengers escaped via this route before the slide was punctured and deflated. Harrison encouraged the passengers to jump, and pushed out those too frightened to do so. 11 people escaped via this route, and five more escaped via the rear port door before the slide was destroyed. Harrison was last seen alive preparing to jump herself, but then she turned back and disappeared into the burning fuselage in a valiant attempt to save the remaining four female passengers, including a disabled woman and eight-year-old girl. It was these actions which led to the award of the George Cross posthumously to Harrison in recognition of her selfless gallantry. 35 people were injured, and five killed.


The first two fire engines to arrive were unable to do much to stop the fire, as the drivers misjudged their distance, and also they were unable to make foam whilst on the move. To make foam, the main transfer gearboxes of the fire engines had to be operated, which meant that the vehicles were unable to move. Problems with couplings on the fire hoses exacerbated the situation – the fire hydrants had been regularly painted, and a build up of paint on the coupling threads prevented the hoses from being attached to the hydrants. The driver of a back-up foam tender drove in closer to the burning aircraft and discharged his foam effectively, but the fire had already gained hold by the time this happened.


The aircraft was carrying 116 passengers and 11 crew. Five people were killed in the accident: stewardess Barbara Jane Harrison and four passengers, Esther Cohen, who was severely disabled, Catherine Shearer, a young Australian teacher who was seated with her mother (who survived) next to Mrs Cohen in the back row of seats, Mary Smith, a widow, and Jacqueline Cooper, an eight-year-old girl whose parents and two brothers escaped, helped by Miss Harrison. All five victims were found at the Inquest of 17 September 1968 to have died of "Asphyxia due to Inhalation of Fire Fumes", and a verdict was returned in all five cases of Accidental Death.

Another notable survivor was Katriel Katz, Israeli Ambassador to the Soviet Union. Katz had been expelled from the Soviet Union by Andrei Gromyko on 10 June 1967, the last day of the Six-Day War. Gromyko is said to have told Katz not to let his emotions get the better of him, advice he was to ignore in the emergency that was to befall him. During the evacuation from the aircraft, Katz was the only passenger to escape through the forward port door, despite the efforts of Hutchinson and Unwin to stop him using that door. The two flight crew were almost carried out through the door by Katz, who was a large man. Katz was seriously injured jumping from the doorway. He was taken to Hillingdon Hospital, where it was initially feared that he would become the sixth victim of Flight 712. Katz recovered after a few days.

Aircraft involved

The aircraft involved in the accident was a Boeing 707–465 registered G-ARWE (manufacturer's serial number 18373, Boeing line number 302). First flown on 27 June 1962, the aircraft was originally to have been operated by Cunard Eagle Airways, but before it entered service it was sold to BOAC-Cunard and was delivered on 7 July 1962. On 21 November 1967, the aircraft suffered an engine failure on take off from Honolulu International Airport. The take off was aborted, and there were no injuries to any of the passengers or crew. At the time of the Heathrow accident, the aircraft had flown for a total of 20,870 hours. The aircraft was insured for £2,200,000 with Lloyd's of London.


Too many buttons or too much stress?
In the subsequent investigation, metal fatigue was ultimately blamed for the failure of the number five compressor wheel in the number two Rolls-Royce 508 Conway turbofan engine, starting the rapid chain of failures. The crew's omitting to shut off the fuel to the engine was blamed for the rapid growth of the fire and the loss of the aircraft. Check Captain Moss had accidentally cancelled the fire warning bell instead of the undercarriage warning bell. Moss had also issued orders to Captain Taylor, in breach of the normal protocol for his duties. However, the report on the accident also stated that Captain Taylor had briefed Moss to act as an extra set of eyes and ears inside and outside the cockpit. Moss's actions therefore could be seen as acting within that remit. Although Moss had alerted the crew to the fire, none of them were aware that the number 2 engine had fallen off until after the evacuation on the ground.

As a result of the investigation, and lessons learned from the chain of events, BOAC combined the "Engine Fire Drill" and "Engine Severe Failure Drill" checklists into one list, called the "Engine Fire or Severe Failure Drill". Modifications were also made to the checklist, including adding to the checklist confirmation that the fire handles had been pulled.

Whiskey Echo's number 2 port engine No.5097, constructed in 1961, had run for 14,917 hours from new, and had been overhauled in spring 1965 because of vibration caused by metal fatigue that had led to the failure of a stage 8 high pressure compressor blade. In 1967 the engine had been removed from service because of flame tube deterioration, and as part of the repairs, the low pressure compressor, of which the number 5 wheel was an original component, was overhauled, but the wheel itself was not tested for fatigue. On 22 November 1967 the engine was bench tested and rejected because of excessive vibration of the high pressure compressor, but was later released as serviceable following further analysis. After 1,415 hours service on another 707 and modification to the turbine seals, on 5 April 1968 No.5097 became number 2 engine of the port wing of Whiskey Echo, scheduled to fly long-haul to Sydney, Australia, three days later.

Shortly after takeoff at 16.27 BST (15.27 GMT) on 8 April 1968, according to the investigations of Rolls-Royce, the 5th stage low pressure compressor wheel failed in fatigue at the run out radius of the wheel web with the rim, causing secondary failures to other wheels and other parts of the engine. The wheel then burst through its casing and disconnected the main fuel pipe, igniting the fuel which was being pumped at 50 gallons (approx. 150 kg) per minute. The fire could not be put out because the engine's two extinguishers had become ineffectual following the destruction caused to the engine cowling by the broken compressor casing. The ferocity of the blaze soon after caused the engine pylon to fatally weaken, which when it gave way, led to the engine falling off of the wing. However, the fuel booster pump continued to function, intensifying the fire until it spread to the wing itself, sweeping back from forward of the leading edge towards the tail. Upon landing, the application of reverse thrust and the westerly crosswind on runway 05R blew the flames underneath the wing and set light to the fuselage. The rapidly intensifying fire then spread under the plane and ignited the fuel lines and oxygen tanks, which, within seconds of Whiskey Echo coming to a stop, caused a series of explosions that broke through the fuselage and set fire to the cabin, ultimately resulting in the deaths of five people.


Queen Elizabeth II awarded Barbara Jane Harrison a posthumous George Cross (GC), the only GC ever presented to a woman in peacetime. Harrison is the youngest ever female recipient of the George Cross. Chief Steward Neville Davis Gordon was awarded the British Empire Medal for Gallantry (Civil Division). Air Traffic Control Officer John Davis was appointed a Member of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (MBE).

The citation for Barbara Jane Harrison's GC reads:
Flight Attendant Barbara Jane Harrison
On April 8th 1968, soon after take-off from Heathrow Airport, No. 2 engine of B.O.A.C. Boeing 707 G-ARWE caught fire and subsequently fell from the aircraft, leaving a fierce fire burning at No. 2 engine position. About two and a half minutes later the aircraft made an emergency landing at the airport and the fire on the port wing intensified. Miss Harrison was one of the stewardesses in this aircraft and the duties assigned to her in an emergency were to help the steward at the aft station to open the appropriate rear door and inflate the escape chute and then to assist the passengers at the rear of the aircraft to leave in an orderly manner. When the aircraft landed Miss Harrison and the steward concerned opened the rear galley door and inflated the chute, which unfortunately became twisted on the way down so that the steward had to climb down it to straighten it before it could be used. Once out of the aircraft he was unable to return; hence Miss Harrison was left alone to the task of shepherding passengers to the rear door and helping them out of the aircraft. She encouraged some passengers to jump from the machine and pushed out others. With flames and explosions all around her and escape from the tail of the machine impossible she directed her passengers to another exit while she remained at her post. She was finally overcome while trying to save an elderly cripple who was seated in one of the last rows and whose body was found close to that of the stewardess. Miss Harrison was a very brave young lady who gave her life in her utter devotion to duty.

While mistakes had been made in the cockpit that fateful day, Captain Cliff Taylor and Acting First Officer John Hutchinson had managed to safely land their aircraft which, having lost an engine, was on fire carrying about 22,000 gallons of fuel, in the most testing of circumstances and almost certainly saved 121 lives. Taylor was recommended for an award by BOAC, but following the publication of the official inquiry report in August 1969, the decision was taken at ministerial level not to recognise any member of the flight crew. Both Taylor and Hutchinson received, along with First Officer Francis Checkland and Check Captain Geoffrey Moss, but not Flight Engineer Thomas Hicks, commendations from BOAC, and Captain Taylor was awarded the British Airline Pilots Association Gold Medal.


[Final report] BA 5390

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Click here for the appendices:

Blow(n) Out

Flight BA 5390 was featured on the Discovery Channel Canada programme Mayday (National Geographic Air Crash Investigation in other parts of the world), called "Blow Out", which was retitled Ripped From The Cockpit: BA Flight of Terror when broadcast on Channel 5 in the UK..

BA 5390

It started as an uneventful flight...
British Airways Flight 5390 was a scheduled passenger flight operated by British Airways between Birmingham Airport in England and Málaga Airport in Spain. On 10 June 1990 an improperly installed panel of the windscreen failed, blowing the plane's captain, Tim Lancaster, halfway out of the aircraft. With Lancaster's body firmly pressed against the window frame for over twenty minutes, the first officer managed to perform an emergency landing at Southampton Airport with no loss of life.


The aircraft, County of South Glamorgan, captained by 42-year-old Tim Lancaster, who had logged 11,050 flight hours, and co-piloted by 39-year-old Alastair Atchison, who had logged 7,500 flight hours, was a BAC One-Eleven Series 528FL registered as G-BJRT. It took off at 07:20 local time, with 81 passengers, four cabin crew and two flight crew. Co-pilot Atchison handled a routine take-off, and relinquished control to Lancaster as the plane established itself in its climb. Both pilots subsequently released their shoulder harnesses, while Lancaster loosened his lap belt as well.

At 07:33, the cabin crew had begun to prepare for meal service. The plane had climbed to 17,300 feet (5,270 m) over Didcot, Oxfordshire. Suddenly, there was a loud bang, and the fuselage quickly filled with condensation. The left windscreen, on the captain's side of the cockpit, had separated from the forward fuselage. Lancaster was jerked out of his seat by the rushing air and forced head first out of the cockpit, his knees snagging onto the flight controls. This left him with his whole upper torso out of the aircraft, and only his legs inside. The door to the flight deck was blown out onto the radio and navigation console, blocking the throttle control, causing the aircraft to continue gaining speed as it descended, while papers and other debris in the passenger cabin began blowing towards the cockpit. On the flight deck at the time, flight attendant Nigel Ogden quickly latched his hands onto the captain's belt. Susan Price and another flight attendant began to reassure passengers, secure loose objects, and organise emergency positions. Meanwhile, Lancaster was being battered and frozen in the 345 mph wind, and was losing consciousness due to the thin air.

Atchison began an emergency descent, re-engaged the temporarily disabled autopilot, and broadcast a distress call. Due to rushing air on the flight deck, he was unable to hear the response from air traffic control. The difficulty in establishing two-way communication led to a delay in British Airways being informed of the emergency and consequently a delay in the implementation of the British Airways Emergency Procedure Information Centre plan.

Looks unbelievable but true!
Ogden, still latched onto Lancaster, had begun to suffer from frostbite, bruising and exhaustion. He was relieved by the remaining two flight attendants. By this time Lancaster had already shifted an additional six to eight inches out the window. From the flight deck, the flight and cabin crew were able to view his head and torso through the left direct vision window. Lancaster's face was continuously hitting the direct vision window; when cabin crew saw this and noticed that Lancaster's eyes were opened but not blinking despite the force against the window, they assumed that Lancaster was dead. Atchison ordered the cabin crew to not release Lancaster's body despite the assumption of his death because he knew that releasing the body might cause it to fly into the left engine and cause an engine fire or failure which would cause further problems for Atchison in an already highly stressful environment.

Atchison eventually received clearance from air traffic control to land at Southampton, while the flight attendants managed in extreme conditions to free Lancaster's ankles from the flight controls and hold on to him for the remainder of the flight. By 07:55 the aircraft had landed safely on Runway 02 at Southampton. Passengers immediately disembarked from the front and rear stairs, and emergency crews retrieved Lancaster.


Much to everyone's surprise, Lancaster was found to be alive, and was taken to Southampton General Hospital, where he was found to be suffering from frostbite, bruising and shock, and fractures to his right arm, left thumb and right wrist. Flight attendant Nigel Ogden suffered a dislocated shoulder, frostbitten face and some frostbite damage to his left eye. Everyone else left the aircraft unhurt.

Less than five months after the accident Lancaster was working again. He later retired from British Airways when he reached the company's mandatory retirement age of 55 at the time. In 2005 Lancaster was reported flying for easyJet.


Not only smaller in diameter but shorter too...
Accident investigators found that a replacement windscreen had been installed 27 hours before the flight, and that the procedure had been approved by the shift maintenance manager. However, 84 of the 90 windscreen retention bolts were 0.026 inches (0.66 mm) too small in diameter, while the remaining six were 0.1 inches (2.5 mm) too short. The investigation revealed that the previous windscreen had been fitted with incorrect bolts, which had been replaced on a "like for like" basis by the shift maintenance manager without reference to the maintenance documentation, in order to save time as the plane was due to take off soon and there was a tight schedule. The air pressure difference between the cabin and the outside during the flight proved to be too much, leading to the failure of the windscreen. The incident also brought to attention a design flaw in the aircraft of the windscreen being secured from the outside of the aircraft, putting a greater pressure on the bolts than if they were secured from the inside.

Investigators found the British Airways Birmingham Airport shift maintenance manager responsible for installing the incorrect bolts during the windscreen replacement and for failing to follow official British Airways policies. They also found fault with British Airways' policies, which should have required testing or verification by another individual for this critical task. Finally, investigators found the local Birmingham Airport management responsible for not directly monitoring the shift maintenance manager's working practices.

Safety recommendations

Investigators made eight safety recommendations in the final accident report:

British Airways

  • Review their quality assurance system and encourage engineers to provide feedback.
  • Review the need to introduce job descriptions and terms of reference for engineering grades Shift Maintenance Manager and above.
  • Review their product sample procedure to achieve independent assessment of standards and to conduct an in-depth audit into the work practices at Birmingham Airport.

Civil Aviation Authority

  • Examine the continued viability of self-certification with regards to safety critical tasks on aircraft.
  • Review the purpose and scope of the FOI 7 Supervisory Visit.
  • Consider the need for the periodic training and testing of engineers.
  • Recognise the need for the use of corrective glasses, if prescribed, in association with aircraft engineering tasks.
  • Ensure that, prior to the issue of an air traffic control rating, a candidate shall undergo an approved course including training in both the theoretical and practical handling of emergency situations.


First Officer Alastair Stuart Atchison and cabin crew member Susan Gibbins were awarded the Queen's Commendation for Valuable Service in the Air.

Atchison was awarded a 1992 Polaris Award for his ability and heroism.


Airport with a view: Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky Airport (PKC/UHPP)

Aeroflot Il-96
Transaero B777-200ER // EI-UNV
VIM Airlines B757-200 // RA-73015
S7 Sibir Airlines A320-200 // VQ-BES
Ural Airlines A320-200 // VP-BDL
Vladivostok Avia Tu-204-300 // RA-64026
Aurora A319-100 // VP-BWL
Yakutia Airlines Sukhoi-100-95B // RA-89012
MIG-31 // 29
ANA-Wings Dash8-400Q // C-GISU
DC Aviation A319-115(X)CJ // D-ALEY
Global Jet Luxembourg A319-100(X)CJ // P4-MIS
Comac ARJ21 // B-1110l
Volga-Dnepr Airlines An-124

[Showcase] Aurora A319

Aurora A319-100 // VP-BUK
 Aurora A319-100 // VQ-BBD
Aurora A319-100 // VQ-BBD
Aurora A319-100 // VP-BUK
Aurora A319-100 // VP-BWK
Aurora A319-100 // VQ-BBD
Aurora A319-100 // VP-BWK
Aurora A319-100 // VP-BWK
Aurora A319-100 // VP-BWK
Aurora A319-100 // VP-BUO

This Is Love: Jamaica

Ezúttal Jamaikán, a Sangster 07-es pályáján szállunk le a 737-essel.. :)

Leszállás Hargeisában A321-essel

Nem a legszebben kivitelezett jobb főfutós touch-down a szomáliföldi főváros repterének 06-os pályáján..

Sima leszállás az akadályokkal tarkított, épp hosszabbítás alatt lévő 06-os pályán ill. felszállás a 24-esről..:

..és ilyen, mikor rádiónavigációs segítség híján vizuálisan kéne megtalálni a pályát a sivatagban, mielőtt még odaér a zivatarcella.. :o

Leszállás Dzsibutiban A321-essel

Így néz ki egy vizuális megközelítés a dzsibuti főváros 09-es pályájára..

..és ilyen, mikor homokvihar nehezíti a leszállást az ellenkező irányból (RWY27):

Leszállás Nantes-ban A320-assal

NDB-megközelítés Nantes 21-es pályájára..
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