A pilot was sucked out of a plane whilst flying for British Airways (reconstruction)
Captain Tim Lancaster, who was 42 years old at the time, was then dragged out of the window
A British Airways pilot was sucked out of a broken window in the cockpit of an aeroplane whilst flying for British Airways 27 years ago.
Pictures have resurfaced online bringing the story into the limelight once again.
A report into the incident revealed the window was fitted incorrectly after maintenance used the wrong screws to install it, which caused it to fly off from the plane at 17,400 feet.
Captain Tim Lancaster, who was 42 years old at the time, was then dragged out of the window due to the decompression within the cockpit.
Miraculously, he survived the terrifying ordeal.
The pilot was sucked out of the cockpit after the window smashed (reconstruction)
A flight attendant on the plane, Nigel Ogden, managed to grab Lancaster’s belt, preventing him from flying out of the plane as his legs remained inside.
The fast moving air in the plane threw forced throttle open and caused the passenger aircraft to accelerate during the incident.
Pilot Lancaster remained partially outside of the plane, thrown against the nose with powerful winds of 345mph and temperatures as low as -17 degrees.
As the situation escalated, Ogden also began to suffer from exhaustion from holding his captain against the plane, when chief steward John Heward and flight attendant Simon Rogers took over.
The ordeal, which lasted 22 minutes, ended after an emergency landing at Southampton Airport.
The pilot was then held by his legs within the cockpit (reconstruction)
The British Airways captain survived the incident, although not without some injuries and trauma.
Lancaster was taken immediately to hospital after he fell unconscious and treated for fractures to his right arm, left thumb and right wrist, as well as frostbite and shock.
Flight attendant Ogden also had a dislocated shoulder and frostbite to the face and eye, causing him to retire in 2001 after suffering post-traumatic stress.
Amazingly, Lancaster returned to flying just five months after the incident and was reported to have joined EasyJet in 2005.
The pilot survived the 22 minute ordeal
None of the passengers or any other cabin crew members were harmed, although were frightened by the incident.
Passenger, Margaret Simmonds told Press Association at the time: “I could see a body hanging out of the window, with two men and a woman hanging onto his legs.
“They were trying to stop him being sucked out.”
The investigation into the incident showed that the engineer used bolts that were too small which caused them to fail under the air pressure.
British Airways have since changed the window bolts to be on the inside of the plane rather than outside to reduce the pressure they come up against.
It isn’t the first time a pilot has suffered injuries or illness on a plane, as one pilot collapsed just 16 minutes after taking off.