On June 10, 1990, British Airways Flight 5390 was flying from
Birmingham, England, to Malaga, Spain, with 81 passengers and six crew
members on board. The plane was a BAC One-Eleven 528FL, a twin-engine
jet airliner that had been in service since 1971.
captain was Timothy Lancaster, a 42-year-old veteran pilot with more
than 11,000 flight hours, and the co-pilot was Alastair Atchison, a
39-year-old with more than 7,500 flight hours. Both pilots had flown the
BAC One-Eleven for over 1,000 hours.
The flight took off at 8:20
a.m. local time and climbed to a cruising altitude of about 17,300 feet.
The weather was clear and calm, and the flight was expected to be
routine. The pilots released their shoulder harnesses and Lancaster
loosened his lap belt.
At 8:33 a.m., the cabin crew were preparing
for meal service and one of them, Nigel Ogden, was entering the cockpit
when a loud bang occurred. The left windscreen panel, on Lancaster’s
side of the flight deck, had separated from the forward fuselage,
creating an explosive decompression that sucked Lancaster out of his
seat and through the window.
reacted quickly and grabbed Lancaster’s legs before he could be pulled
out completely. He held on with all his strength as Lancaster’s upper
body was exposed to the extreme wind and cold outside the plane.
cockpit door was blown inward onto the control console, blocking the
throttle control and causing the plane to descend rapidly. The autopilot
had disengaged and the flight documents and checklists were sucked out
of the cockpit. Debris flew in from the passenger cabin and condensation
filled the air.
Ogden told the Sydney Morning Herald: “I whipped
round and saw the front windscreen had disappeared and Tim, the pilot,
was going out through it – he had been sucked out of his seatbelt and
all I could see were his legs.
“I jumped over the control column and grabbed him round his waist to avoid him going out completely.
“His shirt had been pulled off his back and his body was bent upwards, doubled over round the top of the aircraft.
legs were jammed forward, disconnecting the autopilot, and the flight
door was resting on the controls, sending the plane hurtling down at
nearly 650kmh through some of the most congested skies in the world.”
He continued: “I thought I was going to lose him, but he ended up bent in a U-shape around the windows.
face was banging against the window with blood coming out of his nose
and the side of his head, his arms were flailing and seemed about 6 feet
long. Most terrifyingly, his eyes were wide open. I’ll never forget
that sight as long as I live.”
took over the controls and declared an emergency to air traffic
control. He asked for an immediate landing at the nearest airport, which
was Southampton. He also instructed the cabin crew to restrain
Lancaster and keep him inside the plane as much as possible.
was joined by another flight attendant, Simon Rogers, who wrapped a
belt around Lancaster’s waist and secured it to his seat. A third flight
attendant, John Howard, took over Ogden’s position when his arms became
numb from holding Lancaster’s legs. The crew also tried to cover
Lancaster with blankets and coats to protect him from the cold.
Atchison struggled to fly the plane with limited visibility and
control. He had to avoid other planes in the busy airspace and deal with
alarms and warnings from the instruments. He also had to cope with the
noise and pressure from the open window.
He managed to descend to
11,000 feet, where he could breathe without oxygen masks. He then
contacted Southampton Airport and requested an emergency landing. He was
cleared for runway 02 and guided by radar.
made a smooth landing at 8:55 a.m., 22 minutes after the windscreen
blew out. He stopped the plane on the runway and asked for immediate
assistance. The emergency services arrived and helped extricate
Lancaster from his precarious position.
He was still alive but
unconscious. He had suffered several fractures, frostbite, shock, and
bruises. He was taken to a hospital along with Ogden, who had injured
his arm and eye during the ordeal.
passengers and the rest of the crew were unharmed but shaken by the
incident. They were transferred to another plane and continued their
journey to Malaga later that day.
investigation into the incident revealed that the windscreen panel had
been replaced the previous day by a maintenance worker who had used
incorrect bolts that were too small for the holes. The bolts had failed
under stress during the flight, causing the panel to detach. The
maintenance worker was charged with negligence but acquitted after a
Lancaster made a remarkable recovery and returned to work
after less than five months. He flew with British Airways until 2003 and
then with EasyJet until he retired in 2008. He is considered one of the
luckiest pilots in history for surviving such a harrowing experience.
was praised for his calmness and skill in landing the plane safely. He
also continued to fly with British Airways until his retirement.
CNN Anchor Claims Dangerous Filthy Slums in America Are ‘Vibrant Expressions of Democracy’
CNN host Fareed Zakaria aired an astonishing rant this past
weekend arguing that major US cities are filthy and dangerous because of
“democracy,” and that makes them more “vibrant.”
Zakaria was attempting to provide a counter argument to Tucker
Carlson’s recent report that Russia’s subways are nicer than America’s.
Modernity.news reports: “American cities are expressions of democracy,” Zakaria asserted, claiming they are “places where people have to negotiate differences and find ways to live together, that makes them messier and dirtier and sometimes chaotic.”
He then argued “perhaps that is what has made these cities so vibrant and innovative, and why they have been at the forefront in making America the country that leads the world in economics, technology, culture and power.”
Is rampant crime, homelessness, and drug use part of said vibrancy?
Fact check. American cities were not shit holes when the country emerged as the envy of the world.
Zakaria continued, “Carlson speaks enviously of cities like Tokyo, Singapore, Abu Dhabi and Dubai, and they are indeed wonderful in their own distinctive ways. But what’s striking about all of them is that they are somewhat tame and subdued. The product of authoritarian governments or conformist culture, or both. American cities are different.”
He appears to be seriously claiming that you cannot have a clean and safe city without some kind of evil dictatorship overseeing it.
Zakaria continued “Carlson put forward a bizarre hodgepodge of assertions he thought the architecture, food and service in Moscow was better than in any American city. Really? Moscow?”
“Outside of a small historic center, it is filled with drab Soviet era concrete buildings. And while the food in Moscow can be quite good…Better than New York or San Francisco? You need to get out more” Zakaria concluded.
Has he been to San Francisco lately?
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