How the pilot of the airliner made a flight outside the cockpit and survived

What do you think-can a person survive who is at a high altitude outside the cabin or cabin of an airliner? In the Soviet comedy " The Incredible Adventures of Italians in Russia" one of the heroes-the mafia Rosario Agro, it was possible and even without much damage to health. In real life, the chances of survival are small, but this does not mean that they do not exist at all. The story of the commander of the aircraft BAC 1-11 Timothy Lancaster, who was literally sucked out of the cockpit in the sky over Britain — just such a rare case.

How the pilot of the airliner made a flight outside the cockpit and survived

The incident with the British Airways aircraft BAC 1-11 occurred in the sky over the city of Didcot on Sunday afternoon, June 10, 1990. On this day, the weather was fine — visibility was 10 km, the air temperature was +15 degrees, and a small wind was blowing from the north.

Flight BA5390, en route from Birmingham to Malaga, took off strictly on schedule — at 8.20 am with 6 crew members and 81 passengers on board. Nothing special about the flight in this weather was not represented and the pilots, led by the crew commander Timothy Lancaster, simply prepared for another routine.

At 8.33, the airliner took up a flight of 5273 meters and flew over Oxfordshire. Everything went as usual and the pilots unbuckled their shoulder straps to relax a little. The captain of the aircraft, Lancaster, also loosened his waist belt, which, as it turned out, he should not have done. Suddenly, there was a loud bang in the cabin and the left windshield of the cockpit, located just opposite the commander's seat, flew out and the pilot was instantly sucked out of his seat like a vacuum cleaner and thrown into the opening.

How the pilot of the airliner made a flight outside the cockpit and survived

Reconstruction of the incident

Lancaster was pinned with his back to the fuselage outside the plane, and his legs were miraculously stuck between the steering wheel and the dashboard. Immediately there was a second pop — the pressure difference tore out the cockpit door, which slammed into the radio panel, depriving the crew of communication with the ground. But no one was up to it — Timothy Lancaster was two-thirds outside the cockpit, at an altitude of more than five kilometers, and no one knew whether he was alive or not.

How the pilot of the airliner made a flight outside the cockpit and survived

A specialist of the prosecutor's office is studying the fixing of the glass liner

When everything was over and the investigators began to study the circumstances of the accident, it turned out that the ill-fated glass was installed in the cabin just 27 hours before the accident. The glass was held in place by 90 bolts, 84 of which were of a smaller than normal diameter. But even six bolts could hold the cab element if they were properly matched... in length. Yes, the only products corresponding to the diameter were shorter than necessary and kept on 2-3 turns of the thread.

Why did this happen? Everything is simple — due to the lack of specialists in the night shift, the manager of the technical service decided to independently replace the glass. He chose the wrong bolts in the warehouse, and a special power tool and was too lazy to drag it to the liner. He installed the fasteners manually, without even checking the quality of the work by pressure. We can say that the reason for The state of emergency has entirely become a human factor.

How the pilot of the airliner made a flight outside the cockpit and survived

Timothy Lancaster

Atchinson requested to land at London's Gatwick Airport, but was directed to Southampton Airport, whose runways the pilot was not familiar with. As the plane turned around and headed for the airport, flight attendant Ogden fought desperately for the life of Lancaster, who continued to slip out inch by inch. Nigel Ogden told me:

Fortunately, the brave flight attendant managed to restrain the pilot. The landing was, so to speak, uneventful. Even the disembarkation of passengers was carried out in normal mode, on the usual ladder. Everyone who got off the plane was immediately sent to the airport building to see psychologists.

How the pilot of the airliner made a flight outside the cockpit and survived

The expert examines the window from which Lancaster was pulled. Traces of the pilot's blood are visible from above

Lancaster was carried up the ramp on a stretcher and sent to the hospital, where doctors determined the severity of the patient's condition. As it turned out, the captain got off incredibly easily — he had a broken right arm, left wrist and a finger on his left hand. In addition, he thoroughly broke his nose and earned several frostbite.

Lancaster's rescuer, flight attendant Ogden, had frostbite on his face and dislocated his shoulder, while pilots Heward and Rogers had several bruises and abrasions from flying objects. We can say that the story ended with a happy ending, but it seriously affected the participants of the events.

How the pilot of the airliner made a flight outside the cockpit and survived

Timothy Lancaster and flight attendants Simon Rogers and Nigel Ogden (right) in hospital

As for the manager, who almost killed people, nothing is known about his fate. The head of the maintenance service at Birmingham Airport even tried to justify his act, telling the press that he saw no other way out in order not to disrupt the flight. After the accident with the glass in British airports, increased control over the maintenance of aircraft, so that the situation will never happen again.

Keywords: Accident | Flight attendant | United kingdom | Airliner | Pilots | Flight | Airplane

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