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Plane speaking

BMJ 2000; 320 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.320.7237.813 (Published 18 March 2000) Cite this as: BMJ 2000;320:813
  1. Louis Appleby, professor of psychiatry
  1. Manchester

    Ihave always had a fascination with plane crashes. For years I have read every detail of newspaper reports, mentally filing each incident by cause, airline, and warning signs. But the Qantas 747 that careered off the runway and crashed at the airfield perimeter while landing at Bangkok on 23 September last year was of particular interest. This is because I was on it.

    It was left to the cabin crew on the flight back to offer regrets over what had happened

    Afterwards, despite the darkness, every passenger claimed to have noticed something wrong as we landed—too fast, too far up the runway, not enough reverse thrust, or was it too much? The truth is, none of us had any idea of what was coming, not even the copilot who was making his welcoming announcement when it happened. Certainly there was no sign of a recent tropical storm in which, according to most media coverage, we were trying to land. There was a light drizzle, but it was no more a tropical storm than the showers that …

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