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British Airways pilot survived being sucked out of the window for 20 minutes after the windshield broke off

British Airways pilot survived being sucked out of the window for 20 minutes after the windshield broke off

He lived to tell his harrowing tale.

One pilot lived to true tale of survival.

On June 10, 1990, passengers and flight crew boarded British Airways Flight 5390 from Birmingham to Malaga, unaware of the nightmare that awaited them.

Just 13 minutes into its journey, at 17,300 feet above Didcot, Oxfordshire, a loud explosion rocked the plane.

The windscreen on Captain Timothy Lancaster's side had blown off, causing sudden and explosive decompression.

In an instant, Captain Lancaster was propelled headfirst out of the cockpit.

Luck was on Lancaster's side as he managed to catch his legs on the flight controls, preventing him from being completely ejected.

However, his torso was pinned to the outside of the aircraft by the force of oncoming winds. You can see in the simulation below:



Steward Nigel Ogden rushed to help, grabbing Captain Lancaster's legs and holding on tightly - clinging to a chair for support.

Another steward, Simon Rogers, quickly joined the rescue on the flight deck and took over from Ogden, who sustained a hand injury while attempting to rescue the captain.

Co-pilot Alistair Atcheson, put on an oxygen mask and took control of the plane.

Although Atcheson had made a distress call to nearby airports, he could barely make out the response over the deafening 630 kmh winds.

Meanwhile, other crew members reassured passengers, instructing them to fasten their seatbelts and take the emergency brace positions.

With help from fellow crew members, Rogers maintained his grip on the captain until the aircraft safely landed after 20 minutes - what must have felt like a lifetime for Lancaster.



The captain was unconscious for most of it after his exposure to freezing temperatures and powerful winds.

He was taken to Southampton General Hospital suffering from shock, along with a fractured elbow, wrist and thumb, and frostbite on one hand. Nevertheless, he miraculously kept his life.

'It was like something from a disaster movie. I still find it hard to believe I was at the centre of it all,' Ogden wrote in 2005.

Flight BA5390 had 81 passengers and six crew members on board, according to the New York Times.

A documentary has since been released on YouTube showcasing the whole series of events.

However, an experience that would deter many from ever stepping foot on a plane again didn't scare Lancaster off. Just five months after his near-death experience, Tim Lancaster returned to flying - with what a tale to tell.

Featured Image Credit: X/@mrwtffacts

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