Episode 18: British Airways Flight 9

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As 248 flight passengers flew high above Jakarta, Indonesia, the hum of the plane's mechanical systems was suddenly replaced by eerie silence as all four engines unexpectedly burned out. In this week's episode of Take to the Sky: The Air Disaster podcast, Stephanie tells the story of British Airways Flight 9, which left the cockpit crew scrambling to make sense of the catastrophic engine failure as they faced an onslaught of decisions that left their passengers lives in the balance. Was it possible to save any of the lives onboard—or was a deadly plane crash inevitable? Join us as we find out!

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Sources consulted for this story:

  • Wikipedia: British Airways Flight 9
  • Reuters: Ordeal of BA Flight 9 Underlines Dangers of Ash
  • Daily Mail: The Story of BA Flight 009 and the Words Every Passenger Dreads...
  • BBC: When Volcanic Ash Stopped a Jumbo at 37,000 Feet
  • NPR: Pilot's Possible Tragic Tale Gets Diverted
  • CNN: Pilot Recalls Emergency During 1982 Ash Cloud
  • Chicago Tribute: Plane Survival
  • ABC: Planes and Volcanic Ash Don't Mix
  • Fox News: Why Is Volcanic Ash So Dangerous for Planes?
  • Eric Moody's Website
  • Airsidetv.com: Interview With Capt Eric Moody BA Flt 9 Part 1/3
  • The Age: Survivor Tells of Terror on Volcanic Ash Flight

Show Notes:

This week, Shelly shared her experience on a recent flight. Let us know if you have had an experience flying during the COVID-19 pandemic! Whether everyone kept their masks on or you witnessed a mini air disaster in the making, we would love to hear your stories!


Written and produced by: Shelly Price and Stephanie Hubka
Directed and engineered by: Crosse deStreit, Salmon Pond Studios
Sound editing by: Stephanie Hubka
Graphic design and website by: Adam Hubka
Music by: Mike Dunn

Aircraft involved in the disaster. Image Source: Wikipedia

Volcanic ash on one of BA009's engines. Image Source: British Airways

British Airways Flight 9 Cockpit Crew. Image Source: AVGeeks.com