mrjworth
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BA747 Cockpit Stormed

Fri Dec 29, 2000 7:06 pm

A British jet carrying 400 people comes "within seconds of disaster" after a man bursts into the cockpit and tries to seize the controls


More to follow:
 
mrjworth
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RE: *Breaking News* BA747 Cockpit Stormed

Fri Dec 29, 2000 7:13 pm

Correction: Boeing 747 not 777

Five people were hurt in the incident on board a BA747 taking 379 passengers from Gatwick to Kenya.

The autopilot was disengaged as the crew struggled to restrain the man. The plane lurched out of control and passengers spoke of mass panic. The plane did land safely in Nairobi however disaster was only seconeds away.

Passenger quote "I don't think there was a single person on the plane who didn't think we were going to crash. There were grown men screaming."
 
gkirk
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RE: *Breaking News* BA747 Cockpit Stormed

Fri Dec 29, 2000 7:24 pm

When did this happen. What nationality was the gy, and how could this happen. Was the cockpit door not locked?
When you hear the noise of the Tartan Army Boys, we'll be coming down the road!
 
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VirginFlyer
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RE: *Breaking News* BA777 Cockpit Stormed

Fri Dec 29, 2000 7:24 pm

Good grief!
"So powerful is the light of unity that it can illuminate the whole earth." - Bahá'u'lláh
 
Critter_592
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RE: *Breaking News* BA777 Cockpit Stormed

Fri Dec 29, 2000 7:29 pm

Where are you getting this info from?
 
aduum
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RE: *Breaking News* BA777 Cockpit Stormed

Fri Dec 29, 2000 7:31 pm

How long ago was this??
 
mrjworth
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RE: *Breaking News* BA747 Cockpit Stormed

Fri Dec 29, 2000 7:36 pm

The plane landed safely in Nairobi this morning at 7.10am GMT

Sky News, BBC and ITN are all covering the story in great detail.

A man, described by Kenyan police as a suspected mental patient who "had gone berserk" on board, was taken to Nairobi Hospital under police escort.

Passenger quote "There was violent shuddering and then the engines cut out altogether. This was a scene of an aeroplane about to crash."



 
watewate
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RE: *Breaking News* BA777 Cockpit Stormed

Fri Dec 29, 2000 7:57 pm

This just goes to expose the vulnerability of commercial a/cs. This doesn't sound like a terrorist job, but terrorists don't even need weapons to take down one of these jets. All it takes is three or four men who are determined to take over the cockpit.

Glad to hear that the plane landed safely.
 
krisworldB777
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RE: *Breaking News* BA747 Cockpit Stormed

Fri Dec 29, 2000 7:59 pm

It is these idiots who ruin it for everyone. There will, most likely, be a memo sent to BA pilots and crew banning all cockpit visits, just like SIA. Soon, all airlines will have to ban vistits which is a shame. Maybe because he is a so-called "mental patient" the aviation industry may be more forgiving. Well, glad to see the pilots were able to land the plane safely. Good on you chaps!
 
Crosscheck
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RE: *Breaking News* BA777 Cockpit Stormed

Fri Dec 29, 2000 8:00 pm

There is actually an update on the British Airways Website about this incident. You can find it under "Online Press Office".
 
SInGAPORE_AIR
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RE: *Breaking News* BA777 Cockpit Stormed

Fri Dec 29, 2000 8:33 pm

This is a very intersting news story.

I didn't know SIA banned cockpit visits! Let's make a new post.

Anyway, here's what the world's favourite airlines says:

London: Friday December 29: British Airways confirmed today that a Boeing 747-400, operating as flight BA2069, from London Gatwick to Nairobi, has been involved in an incident en route.

The airline said that it appears a male passenger entered the flight deck and attempted to seize the flight controls.

The flight crew struggled with the passenger during which the auto-pilot became disengaged.

A number of passengers are believed to have suffered relatively minor injuries as the aircraft made sudden manoeuvres during the struggle.

The passenger who entered the flight deck was restrained.

The aircraft was carrying 379 passengers, three flight crew and 16 cabin crew. It landed at Nairobi at 0710 GMT.

Emergency services are in attendance as a precaution.

British Airways’ staff stationed at Nairobi are also in attendance to cater for the needs of passengers.

No further details are available at present (08:45 gmt).
Anyone can fly, only the best Soar.
 
Gregg
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RE: *Breaking News* BA777 Cockpit Stormed

Fri Dec 29, 2000 9:16 pm

Man breaks into Kenya-bound British jet cockpit


NAIROBI, Dec 29 (Reuters) - A Kenyan man broke into the cockpit of a packed British Airways jumbo en route to Nairobi on Friday, sending the aircraft plunging to the ground as he made for the controls.

Passengers screamed and prayed for their lives as the Boeing 747-400, with 398 people on board, reeled and dived while the air crew wrestled with the man, described as "hysterical" by one passenger.

A passenger revealed how the pilot had later explained that if the struggle had lasted another few seconds, the co-pilot would have been unable to regain control as the airliner was about to flip upside-down.

"Suddenly the plane went into this violent, violent dive -- like shuddering -- and went very, very steeply downwards and everyone was woken up by this screaming -- grown men basically screaming -- and it was quite a violent situation," Benjamin Goldsmith, a passenger, told Sky News by telephone from Nairobi where the plane finally landed at 0710 GMT.

"Then the plane just stopped diving and went into another dive at a really weird angle, going down to the left...then the engine cut out altogether."

British Airways said the airliner's automatic pilot disengaged during the cockpit struggle, sending the plane into a series of violent manoeuvres. One crew member suffered a broken ankle and several passengers were slightly injured.

Kenyan police said they had detained a 27-year-old Kenyan man but declined to say where he lived or what his motive may have been.

"We are holding him for purposes of investigation," police spokesman Dola Ndidis told Reuters. "We don't want to speculate on whether he will be charged or not. Investigations might show he was a sick man."

Goldsmith said the pilot told passengers over the speakers that "a very nasty man just tried to kill us all."

"This was a scene of an aeroplane that was about to crash," said Goldsmith, who was travelling with his sister and her two young children.

He described how total silence descended on the plane for around 30 seconds after the crew had subdued the intruder and regained control.

BA said a number of the passengers sustained minor injuries. A total of 379 passengers, three flight crew and 16 cabin crew were aboard the London Gatwick to Nairobi flight.

"The passengers are fine, remarkably calm," said Bob Dewar, a BA spokesman in Nairobi. "One member of the crew has a broken ankle. There was a bit of a scuffle."

Emergency services were in attendance at Nairobi airport as a precaution and BA staff were looking after the shaken passengers there.

Goldsmith described the atmosphere during the struggle as one of "total panic."

"I don't think there's a single person on that aeroplane that did not believe that we were about to crash. There were grown men screaming, people praying aloud," he said, adding that he understood the plane had plunged 10,000 feet (3,048 metres).

"I consider ourselves very, very lucky to have survived."

06:04 12-29-00

Copyright 2000 Reuters Limited.
 
hmmmm...
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RE: *Breaking News* BA777 Cockpit Stormed

Sat Dec 30, 2000 12:11 am

Here is the incident as reported in the London Times. A few extra details that the US story did not include, such as a bitten ear, Club Passengers' help, and the Eagles' Bryan Ferry:


14:42 FRIDAY DECEMBER 29 2000

BA jumbo plunges as man storms cockpit

A crazed passenger stormed the cockpit of a British Airways jumbo jet today, injuring several passengers as the plane lurched out of control.

Passengers screamed as the jet spiralled downwards after the autopilot was disengaged during the struggle.

Captain William Hagan, 53, was bitten on the ear and finger as he fought with the man who tried to seize the controls. With the help of club class passengers, the crew overpowered the intruder and regained control of the aircraft, which was flying from Gatwick to Nairobi.

One passenger said Mr Hagan, whose wife was also on board, later told passengers that if the drama had lasted much longer, the co-pilot would not have been able to regain control because the jet was about to flip onto its back.

Five people were taken to hospital with injuries caused by the jet’s violent movement.

The intruder, whom Nairobi police said was a suspected mental patient, was arrested on arrival in the Kenyan capital at 0710 GMT. The man was taken to hospital where he is under sedation. He has not been named but he is believed to be a Kenyan aged 27.

Speaking from Nairobi, Mr Hagan said: "In the struggle the intruder bit my ear but my First Officer, Richard Webb, and I managed to get him out of the cockpit while my other First Officer, Phil Watson, flew the aircraft. With the help of some passengers we managed to restrain the intruder.

"I'm very proud of my two First Officers and cabin crew and I'm very grateful for the assistance from our passengers."

A passenger, Benjamin Goldsmith, said that he thought the plane was going to crash. He said: "Afterwards the pilot came straight on to the loudspeaker and said: 'a nasty man just tried to kill us all'."

He told Sky News: "We were told four or five seconds more and the co-pilot wouldn’t have been able to regain control. I don’t think there was a single person on the plane who didn’t think we were going to crash. There were grown men screaming."

On board with Mr Goldsmith was his mother, Lady Annabel Goldsmith, the widow of the businessman Sir James, and her daughter Jemima Khan. Mrs Khan, who is married to the former cricketer Imran Khan, was travelling with their two children. The singer Bryan Ferry was understood to also have been on the aircraft.

The Boeing 747 had 379 passengers on board plus three flight crew and 16 cabin crew.



Copyright 2000 Times Newspapers Ltd. This service is provided on Times Newspapers' standard terms and conditions. To inquire about a licence to reproduce material from The Times, visit the Syndication website


Hmmmm...
An optimist robs himself of the joy of being pleasantly surprised
 
UPS Pilot
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Damn Glad I'm A Boxhauler

Sat Dec 30, 2000 12:25 am

People are just damn crazy. What would be the point of this? If life gets to difficult for somebody get help! Taking 300+ people with you want make things any better, only worse.
 
The Ticketor
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RE: *Breaking News* BA777 Cockpit Stormed

Sat Dec 30, 2000 12:47 am

What could be more terrifying than this? Unbelievable...
Someone asked if they didn't have the cockpit door locked. Obviously I don't know if they did or not, but even if they did I don't think it would take a very long time for someone determined enough to break it down. In case of an emergency, the flight crew must be able to penetrate a locked/jammed door from the inside, so it's probably not too hard to do it from the outside. If the door is locked it might buy you a few extra seconds so somebody could intervene, but the door alone probably wont stop anyone.
 
gkirk
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RE: *Breaking News* BA777 Cockpit Stormed

Sat Dec 30, 2000 12:51 am

It was me who asked if it was locked, but the door opens outwards from the cockpit so its easier getting out than getting in.
When you hear the noise of the Tartan Army Boys, we'll be coming down the road!
 
The Ticketor
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RE: *Breaking News* BA747 Cockpit Stormed

Sat Dec 30, 2000 1:03 am

Latest BA Statement:

British Airways has praised the efforts of the crew involved in the incident on flight BA2069 early this morning (Friday December 29).

Mike Street, the airline’s Director of Customer Service and Operations said; "We are extremely proud of them, our flight and cabin crew are trained to deal with every eventuality, however rare. It was this training and the swift reactions of our crew that brought this situation to a safe and quick resolution."

Captain William Hagan (age 53), one of the airline’s most experienced pilots with 30 years service, was in charge of the Boeing 747-400 which was en-route from London Gatwick to Nairobi

Speaking from Nairobi, he said "It all happened very quickly, my first thought was for the safety of the aircraft and the passengers. We just did what we are trained to do.

"In the struggle the intruder bit my ear and finger but my first officer, Richard Webb, and I managed to get him out of the cockpit while my other first officer, Phil Watson, flew the aircraft. With the help of some passengers we managed to restrain the intruder.

"Thanks to the quick thinking of my colleagues and the passengers, this incident was brought to a swift conclusion.

"I’m very proud of my two first officers and cabin crew and I’m very grateful for the assistance from our passengers."

The airline has launched an immediate investigation into the incident and issued a contact number for relatives. In the UK it is 0845 6040172, internationally it is +44 20 8 283 9677.


Source: British Airways
http://press.britishairways.com/
 
Guest

RE: *Breaking News* BA747 Cockpit Stormed

Sat Dec 30, 2000 1:08 am

It woul only take a few men to be determined to hijack an aircraft, but the 2 pilots and with the help of FAs and pax could help restrain them. This is horrible, especially risking a full 747!
 
hmmmm...
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RE: BA747 Cockpit Stormed

Sat Dec 30, 2000 2:45 am

One question not asked begs to be: How did the intruder disengage the autopilot? Especially in a struggle. Unless he was familar with the 747-400 cockpit control layout, I can't see him knowing which button to go for. And he would have had to have made a bee line for that button right away as soon as he got in. Still, it would be extremely difficult to press a button on the dash while fending off three adult men. (There were three in the cockpit) In the beginning all three pilots were in the fight which explains why the airplane went into its first of two uncontrolled dives. Nobody was flying the plane, not even the autopilot as we are told that it became disengaged.

Then he would have had to push on the yoke with one arm while fighting the three pilots with the other arm.

Could the intruder have pressed that autopilot disengage button by mistake? Not likely. If his intent was, as the captain said, to kill everybody, then pressing that button by mistake would have been a very serendipitous accident on his part. Could the pilot have hit that button by mistake?

I think there are details here that have not been made public. I think those details would make interesting reading.

Hmmmm...
An optimist robs himself of the joy of being pleasantly surprised
 
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LAX
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RE: BA747 Cockpit Stormed

Sat Dec 30, 2000 1:30 pm

Wonder how close to a mid-air collision they came, what with diving 10,000 feet??
Obviously, there was no time to radio in an emergency call while trying to subdue the maniac.
 
johnboy
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RE: BA747 Cockpit Stormed

Sun Dec 31, 2000 2:20 am

Yes, ban all cockpit visits please. I'll take a few seconds of trying to break down a door vs. "sure, come on in and kill us all." I don't care if you love airplanes so much that your bedroom is a Boeing 747 mock-up. Read about it in the magazines and go to airshows to satisfy your desire... please!
 
JZ
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RE: BA747 Cockpit Stormed

Sun Dec 31, 2000 2:45 am

I certainly don't hope BA is short-sighted to stop the cockpit visits because of this isolated incident. It's a great PR tool.
 
9V-SPJ
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RE: BA747 Cockpit Stormed

Sun Dec 31, 2000 3:51 am

SIA keeps the cockpit door locked at all times. When I went to the cockpit of 9V-SMT in 98, the stewardess knocked on the door and identified herself and then only was the door opened. The Kenyan forced himself into the cockpit and I think that maybe he might have jolted the captain and then the autopilot became disengaged. The autopilot button is on the front panel below the windshield, so the attacker probably pushed either pilot forward and so the autopilot buttom must have been depressed. They say that the 747-400 dived 10,000ft in 2 mins so thats a descent rate of 5000ft per min. If you factor in the aircrafts speed (Mach 0.84-0.85), it must have really been a terrifying dive at such a high speed.

9V-SPJ
 
DG_pilot
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RE: BA747 Cockpit Stormed

Sun Dec 31, 2000 4:36 am

There are many ways to disenage an autopilot. One of these include shoving the yoke so hard. This will in turn disengage the autopilot. Also, I believe there is a red button on the top of the yoke that will disengage it too. In all the stuggle I would not be surprised if the yoke was kicked or shoved or something, causing the autopilot to disengage.

-Dustin
 
zanadou
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RE: BA747 Cockpit Stormed

Sun Dec 31, 2000 6:32 pm

(Ex)Pop star Brian Ferry (left) looks on in this shot:



I have no doubt that it was on autopilot, and BBC reports say the autopilot disengaged. That's actually a design feature.

Boeing Autopilots don't argue with crew (and Airbus A300 auto pilots don't do it any longer, at least not in the aftermath of one of the CAL accidents in Japan that resulted in the crash of an A300 because of just such an argument). I.E. any substantial movement of the controls, either by accident or deliberately is likely to disengage the autopilot (which you are warned about by a Klaxon horn going off). (The Klaxon horn is the result of another accident, an Eastern Airlines Tri-star that flew into the Florida Everglades, in part because the autopilot had been accidentally disengaged, and no one realized it had happened).

Autopilot servos are invariable 'low power' to insure that they CAN be overridden by flight crew should the need arise.

While the maneuvers may have been violent from a passenger view point, obviously from an airframe view, they probably weren't all that dramatic. The most serious injury is one broken ankle.

I am compelled to point out that accelerations of -1G or +2G have in fact caused death and serious injuries on airlines (usually due to FA's or passengers sailing into the ceiling before being dumped back down on the cabin floor). The fact that the total injuries is only 4, and none serious suggests to me that relative to the aircraft limits, these weren't all that violent.

The other feature of those extreme accelerations is the cabin usually looks like a Cyclone has been through it. Everything that wasn't restrained (newspapers, magazines, blankets, pillows, shoes, pocket books, computers etc) enters uncontrolled flight and is randomly re-distributed throughout the cabin. It's a memorable experience.

As far as regaining control, if things aren't really hose up,, if you just stop the off the wall control inputs, the aircraft will generally sort itself out reasonably well. That's a certification requirement.

If you want to talk about violent maneuvers, take a good look at a near disaster with China Airlines in the late 1980's with a 747SP off the Coast of California. They changed the dihedral on the wing, and managed to pull 6 g's, probably a record for an aircraft in RPT (and well outside the airframe design limits)..

The other claim from the BBC is the engines cut out. I find that very unlikely, however in a dive, the autothrottles will reduce power to flight idle, which coupled with the aerodynamic noises, might well mask the reduced engine noise. Short of fuel exhaustion, mechanical failure, flight into a cloud of volcanic ash or absolutely awful weather, it is pretty hard to get the engines to actually cut out.

From the Daily Telegraph in the UK:



The attacker after he earned his "upgrade":



--->Zanadou!  

(Still on vacation!)
 
Guest

RE: BA747 Cockpit Stormed

Sat Jan 06, 2001 7:55 am

Thanks for the pictures, what a flight!
 
LH423
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RE: BA747 Cockpit Stormed

Sun Jan 07, 2001 1:14 am

Anyone else notice the hybrid BA/TWA colour scheme on that 747-100?  

LH423
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