All Four Engines Have Failed: The True and Triumphant Story of Flight BA 009 and the Jakarta Incident
Publish Date: 1985-09-12
Author: Betty Tootell
In June 1982 British Airways Flight BA 009, an American-built Boeing 747 in the command of Captain Eric Moody, took off on the Kuala Lumpur-Perth sector of its London to Auckland flight. Over Java the night was suddenly illuminated by St Elmo's fire, smoke filled the cabins and flames surrounded the turbulence-battered aircraft. One by one, for no reason the crew could discover, the engines surged and failed. With a badly damaged aircraft and almost no forward vision, the Captain controlled the powerless jumbo jet, the co-pilot sent Mayday calls and the flight engineer tried repeatedly to re-start the engines. Unable to use the PA system, the cabin crew were constantly on the move, reassuring the 247 passengers as the aircraft dropped for agonising minutes towards the mountains. Only later was the cause of the engine stoppage revealed, and the incident thereby made aviation history. Betty Tootell, one of the passengers, has written a remarkable and suspenseful account of what happened and how people reacted; a story which movingly demonstrates the heroism of ordinary people. The reader is left feeling that those on board were awarded precious things: an understanding of the true meaning of humanity, and of the gift of life.