Book Title: Thirty Seconds to Impact : The Captain's Story of Flight BA38
Author: Bill Palmer
Format: Paperback | 340 pages
Publication Date: 28 Mar 2010
When Peter took charge of the flight deck of the 777 and took off from Beijing airport, there was nothing to suggest that this trip would be anything other than a routine flight of the sort he had made so many times before. It was not until moments before landing that anything went wrong. Coming in to Heathrow Airport, the plane suffered inexplicable loss of power to both engines, and it was suddenly likely that the plane would plough into a built-up area outside the airport, with the loss of all lives on board. Peter tells us in graphic detail his thoughts and actions when he managed to help save the plane at the last moment thanks to a flash of inspiration that led him to change the position of the wing flaps, which appeared to gain the vehicle enough precious time to make it over the perimeter fence and land on the grass, short of the runway. For both Maria and Peter, their lives following the crash have resulted in experiences that they never would have expected to have happened. There isn't a handbook with rules to follow after a crash so the subsequent aftermath was laced with events that could have been handled better from all sides, which lead to Maria and Peter having to find strength inside them that they had never needed before. A little more than a year later, they have used these strengths to begin a new chapter in their lives; starting with leaving British Airways and celebrating a second chance to enjoy life. But there are still nights when they find themselves awake, crying about what could have happened on that fateful day.