Iconic moment pilot warned passengers of ‘small problem’ as engines failed
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    Flying in a plane is generally a safe experience, but when things do go wrong they can do so in quite a spectacular fashion.

    It falls on the pilots to manoeuvre their aircraft to keep everyone onboard safe, and they're at the forefront of the danger.

    One such pilot was Captain Tim Lancaster who was sucked out of the cockpit window after the glass windowpanes shattered.

    He survived the ordeal thanks to a hero flight crew member who held onto his legs.

    But, Tim’s not the only airline worker involved with an iconic moment in aviation history.

    READ MORE: Plane expert reveals safest seat if there's a crash – and why the brace position exists

    In 1982, Captain Eric Henry Moody had to do some seriously impressive work after ALL of his plane's engines failed, while the aircraft passed through a cloud of volcanic ash.

    Not only did he manage to keep the crew and passengers safe, but his cabin announcement during the emergency has been dubbed a "masterpiece of understatement".

    The situation arose when British Airways Flight 009 – also known as Speedbird 9 – was flying its scheduled route from London Heathrow to Auckland.

    Pilots and passengers are pretty used to difficult weather when in the air – from storms to high winds which cause turbulence.

    However, disaster struck the Boeing 747 on June 24 that year thanks to Mount Galunggung – a volcano south-east of the capital of Indonesia.

    The volcano shot a huge cloud of volcanic ash 110 miles into the air.

    Flight crew noticed a strange effect on the windscreen despite the weather radar showing clear sky. Terrifyingly, Captain Moody’s plane flew directly into the enormous ash cloud.

    The cabin began to fill with smoke which was at first thought to be cigarette smoke (smoking was not banned on planes until 1990).

    Passengers also noticed that the engines had turned bright blue – then all four of the engines flamed out, and stopped.

    The plane continued to glide and would be able to do so for 23 minutes.

    Messages were sent to Air Traffic Control in Jakarta where they hoped to make an emergency stop.

    However, the Indonesian mountains meant that the plane would not be high enough to coast over them and get to Jakarta.

    Moody made an announcement, reports Insider, to passengers who began to write notes to relatives in the fear that they would not survive.

    He said: "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 going again. I trust you are not in too much distress."

    Moody and his crew then planned to guide the plane hoping to make a water landing in the Indian Ocean – something that had never been done before on a Boeing-747.

    Pressure dropped in the cabin, oxygen masks fell from their compartments, but crew member Roger’s was broken.

    Moody dropped the plane at 1,800m a minute to a point where he would be able to breathe without a mask and – incredibly – as the crew started the engine restart procedure before landing in the water the fourth engine started working again.

    The Captain used the engine to reduced the descent rate at which point engine three flared to life.

    Moody began to slowly pull the plane back up when engines one and two restated.

    Unfortunately, as the flight managed to pass over the mountains heading for Jakarta the ash cloud hit them again.

    Engine two flamed out once more, so the crew decided to coast at 12,000ft above the ground – well below the usual 37,000ft.

    Although approaching the airport was difficult, the impressive pilot managed to land the plane using just the instruments inside the cockpit.

    Approaching Jakarta's Halim Perdanakusuma International Airport the windscreen was difficult to see through and had to land using just the instruments inside the cockpit – not to mention both the vertical guidance system and landing lights were no longer working.

    Incredibly, Moody and his crew managed to touch down safely – with the Captain saying it was "a bit like negotiating one's way up a badger's a**e".

    By the time they attempted to taxi the entire windscreen could not be seen through due to sandblasting and the glare from floodlights.

    Amazingly, there was not a single death or injury on board.

    Captain Moody received the Queen's Commendation for Valuable Service in the Air and two of the 263 terrified passengers even fell in love on board and ended up getting married.


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