I was working a BA
767 (the only BA
767 that went to YHZ
- all the other transatlantic BA
767s went to Moncton I believe) that diverted into YHZ
on 9/11 & we were the 4th or 5th aircraft to have diverted in (out of 39 non Canadian aircraft). Our passengers were held on board for only 4-5 hours, wheras some of the later arrivals passengers waited for 10-11 hours. The Canadian authorities were absolutely amazing in their organisation & treatment of both the passengers & crews alike. Our passengers ended up in a Canadian Red Cross centre that had been set up in a conference centre that was due to host an event with Canadian PM
Jean Chretien.....by all accounts they were treated very well & a buffet was set up with the food that was to be served for the Prime Minesterial event.......also the local Kennel Club put on a dog show for the stranded travellers. As for the crews, all spent the first night on board their respective aircraft & many a second night. On the morning of 9/12 2 Air Canada crew who had worked LHR
on 9/11 arrived at our aircraft with a flat bed truck & pulled up to door 1 left. They then stood on a plastic crate & passed up breakfast to us, with 2 of us lying on our stomachs reaching out of the aircraft door.......the 2 stewardesses from AC
had been on duty since leaving LHR
& were part of the YHZ
emergency committee.....great gals! 5 hotel rooms were found for our crew of 11 mid evening of 9/12 & we then spent 2 nights in YHZ
downtown (very enjoyable considering the circumstances) & enjoyed the hospitality of the Nova Scotians. The area has suffered more than it's fair share of disasters, SR111 & a massive explosion in Halifax harbour which wiped out a large percentage of its population many years ago, yet the people were upbeat & very welcoming. We finally got a call to leave for the airport on the morning of 9/14 & waited our turn to taxy to the terminal & reboard our remaing passengers who had not continued their journey by surface transport & arrived back to LGW
mid evening on 9/14.
Standing on the runway at ground level surrounded by nearly 40 large jets was something I will never forget, nor am likely to repeat.
diversions, parked close to us, were:
767 (on which an escape slide was deployed whilst parked up)
5 or 6 assorted BA
777s & 744s
& many more.....
Worked on - Caravelle Mercure A300 A320 F27 SD3-60 BAe146 747-100/200/400 DC10-30 767 777 737-400 757 A319 A321