mtbga From Canada, joined Dec 2009, 21 posts, RR: 0 Posted (3 years 7 months 3 weeks 2 days 10 hours ago) and read 2969 times:
Interesting article in the Toronto Star today implying that BA put people's lives at risk as they began flights back to the UK before airports were official open and that they engaged in acrobatics to get through the ash cloud .....
The relevant paragraphs are at the end of the article ---I copied the paragraphs below and the link to the full article is at the bottom.
Pure slam job to me!!!
"With precious little evidence that it was in fact safe to fly into the UK on Tuesday, with many aviation analysts arguing that data obtained from small aircraft test flights could not be applied to the potentially disastrous impact of ash particles on jumbo jet engines, navigation instruments and radio communications, pilots having no idea where dangerous pockets still floated, British Airways made the astonishing decision to put 26 homeward-bound commercial planes in the air, despite having no assurance those planes would be allowed to land.
On a wing and prayer, they defiantly sent 8,000 passengers aloft on the assumption an air corridor would be created.
Where other European carriers had been permitted to land their planes on the continent in the previous 24 hours, BA was bleeding money by the minute. Given the airline’s financial predicament, their executives should have been the last people on Earth allowed to make such a dicey, self-interested call.
Their unilateral decision to defy — at the very least, put inordinate pressure on civil aviation authorities — by pointing planes at Heathrow and other UK airports was staggeringly unsound, deserving of the most severe penalties available. Such audacious conduct is unforgivable.
The first plane down, flight BA84 — originating in Vancouver — circled first over the Isle of Man, then over Birmingham and finally landed at Heathrow, just after the Civil Aviation Authority agreed to lift the blanket ban on airspace with phased reintroduction of UK airspace.
Flight BA84, according to reports, descended at an ear-popping 18 metres per second in order to pass as quickly as possible through any ash cloud out there.
Bully for the pilot but I’ll never fly British Airways again."
vv701 From United Kingdom, joined Aug 2005, 7046 posts, RR: 17 Reply 6, posted (3 years 7 months 3 weeks 2 days 8 hours ago) and read 2507 times:
Quoting mtbga (Thread starter): With precious little evidence that it was in fact safe to fly into the UK on Tuesday, with many aviation analysts arguing that data obtained from small aircraft test flights could not be applied to the potentially disastrous impact of ash particles on jumbo jet engines, navigation instruments and radio communications,
Those analysts may have been correct. Certainly BA might agree with them. That could be why they had already described their own tests not using |small aircraft" in a Press Release dated 18 April:
"A British Airways Boeing 747 has tonight completed a 2 hour 46 minute flight.
"The aircraft took off from Heathrow at 17.55 and climbed to 40000 feet flying 550 miles due west of Cardiff.
"Initially it ascended to 10000 feet, then increased altitude in stages of 5000 feet, remaining for five minutes at each level before reaching 40000 feet.
"The aircraft stayed at 40000 feet for an hour. Returning east, it descended across Ireland from 19000 to 15000 feet, landing at Cardiff at 20.41.
"The conditions were perfect and the aircraft encountered no difficulties. It will now undergo a full technical analysis at British Airways' engineering base at Cardiff."
It returned to Cardiff and not LHR because that is where all major maintenance on BA wide bodied aircraft is carried out and where all the necessary equipment to carry out a quick but thorough check on the aircraft is located.
The full "technical analysis" showed no sign of damage or any other adverse effect. Having fully assessed the situation with one of their 744s with the resuilts backed up by a similar flight flown by KL out of AMS, BA flew 28 long haul passenger carrying aircraft towards LHR on 20 April. This led to the aurthorities reassessing the situation. They reopened the airport at ten pm BST, ten minutes after the flight from YVR landerd. But if you are the Toronto Star why let facts get in the way of a sensational, newspaper selling story? And as for checking the Press Releases on the British Airways web site . . . Well that would have ruined their story!