Pilot dies as holiday jet comes in to land
Tuesday 30 January 1996
The first officer of the Britannia Airways flight landed the aircraft with the body of the pilot still strapped into the seat next to him.
Roger Attenborough, 54, died from a suspected heart attack while the Boeing 757 flight from Luton was at around 12,000 feet, less than 15 minutes from landing in Spain.
A spokesman for Britannia said flight BY 476A, which had taken off at 3 15pm on Sunday, proceeded normally. Captain Attenborough did not collapse on the the aircraft's controls because it was in the "descent phase" and both pilots were therefore wearing their full harnesses. Most of the passengers were unaware that anything had happened until after the plane landed.
After the jet touched down, resuscitation attempts were made but the pilot was declared dead by the local coroner. The first officer, who has not been named by the airline, had radioed ahead for medical assistance. All first officers are trained to handle flights on their own.
Captain Attenborough, married with two grown-up sons, had joined the airline in 1969 and had been a captain for 20 years.
One of his sons, Royd, who is also a pilot, said: "It has come as a complete shock. Dad was fit and well and passed all his six-month medicals with flying colours."
The worst disaster at Heathrow occurred in June 1972 after Stanley Key, the 52- year-old pilot of a Trident carrying 118 people, had a heart attack at the controls following an argument with colleagues. He apparently fell on the controls two minutes after take-off, causing a fatal stall. The aircraft crashed near Staines killing all aboard.
- 1 'Not suppost to cry': 9-year-old lists the worst things about being a boy
- 2 Lee Evans announces his retirement from comedy on The Jonathan Ross Show
- 3 Iggy Azalea responds to Eminem rape lyrics: 'I'm bored of old men threatening young women'
- 4 These grandmas smoking weed for the first time are wonderful
- 5 Pastafarian former porn star Asia Lemmon allowed to wear colander in driving licence photo
Duchess of Alba dead: Billionaire Spanish duchess who lived life by her own rules, dies at 88
New York snowstorm: Death toll rises to 10 as residents battle with further snowfall
These grandmas smoking weed for the first time are wonderful
Chelsea balcony collapse: Two people dead and six injured in London
Woman opens professional cuddling shop – gets 10,000 customers in first week
Rochester by-election: Ukip gains second MP as Tory defector Mark Reckless holds seat
'Muslims pre-date Columbus in discovering America,' says Turkish president Erdogan
Rochester by-election: Labour MP Emily Thornberry resigns after posting white van and England flags tweet
France 'blocks' Russian sailors from boarding a warship
Former Tory PM Sir John Major says 'we would not have an NHS without migrants'
Revealed: How the world gets rich – from privatising British public services
£8 - £12 per hour: Recruitment Genius: To assist a young family with the care ...
£20000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Customer Service Executive is required...
£55000 - £70000 per annum: Argyll Scott International: My client, a world lead...
Negotiable: Argyll Scott International: My client, a world leading services pr...