Monday, June 10, 2013

On this date in history: One of the craziest emergency landings of all time

6:45 a.m. EDT, June 10, 2013 
 On June 10, 1990, British Airways flight 5390 was landed by its co-pilot while the pilot dangled out the window for more than 20 minutes.

 Barely 10 minutes after taking off, an improperly installed window in the cockpit blew out at 17,300 feet. The rushing wind pulled pilot Tim Lancaster out of his seat and out the window, but his knees caught on the cockpit controls and members of the flight crew were able to grab him by the belt and legs. Co-pilot Alastair Atchison took over controls.

Atchison tried to call for an emergency landing, but the wind rushing through the cockpit was so loud he could not hear his instructions. The flight crew believed Lancaster had died, but Atchison instructed them to hold onto him lest his body fly into the engine and cause the plane to crash. The plane made an emergency landing at Southampton.

Amazingly, the crew found that Lancaster had survived. He had frostbite, a few broken bones in his arms and hands, and shock. One member of the flight crew sustained a dislocated shoulder and frostbite from his efforts to hold onto Lancaster.

 Less than five months later, Lancaster was back at work piloting airplanes.


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