Flight 9

Flight 9
Simulated image of Flight 9

Ladies and gentlemen, this is your captain speaking. We have a small problem. All four engines have stopped. We are doing our damnedest to get them under control. I trust you are not in too much distress.

Such was Captain Moody’s understated announcement from the cockpit of British Airways Flight 9 on 24 June 1982 in the ash clouded skies over Indonesia.

True to his word, Capt Moody and his crew began four engine restart procedures and repeated them over and over again as their stricken aircraft glided inexorably towards disaster. Finally; after 14 minutes of incredible airmanship and dogged persistence they got the engines running again and safely landed their aircraft at Jakarta International Airport.

The passengers owed their lives to the crew’s refusal to give up on what another flight crew might have considered an impossible task. Another crew might have thrown their hands in the air and accepted the inevitability of their fate with the thought that “we are in God’s hands now”, perhaps muttering “In sha’Allah” or some such.

I don’t want to fly behind any crew that is willing to abdicate their responsibility to some Mickey Mouse imaginary co-pilot at some higher altitude. I want a crew that believes in itself and in its skill to get me and my fellow passengers back on the ground.

Same goes for the planet, If you think some sky pilot is in control then get the hell back to your church, mosque, tabernacle or whatever and let those with actual knowledge get on with doing their damdest to get us all to a safe landing.