Sunday night and we've made it home. I say this because the journey involved flying into Heathrow this morning - at just about the same time as the Boeing 777 that crash-landed earlier in the week was being moved from the Southern runway. I can imagine people of nervous disposition being worried by this incident - and it says something about the safety record of today's aeroplanes that no-one on board seemed to be in the least bit concerned. After all there has not been a single example of a Boeing 777 crashing in the 10 years the plane has been in service. Its probably the safest form of travel, including walking!
Perhaps I knew a bit more about what had happened at Heathrow than most other passengers. On the day of the crash-landing, we were joined on a mini bus trip in Barbados by another holidaymaker who seemed incredibly well informed. When I asked him, he said that he was a British Airways pilot, (probably on a 'freebie') and had been flying passenger planes into Heathrow for the last 20 years. He was staying in the same hotel as we were. He knew immediately that something serious had gone wrong with the plane, because the scale of error was beyond anything he could imagine. It was just not possible for a pilot to fall a thousand feet short of the runway - when the touchdown point aimed for is a thousand feet along the runway. We now know that all of the Boeing's engines failed to respond when extra power was needed, two miles from touchdown and the plane, in effect glided in. All's well that ends well, but it could have been a real disaster. There is going to be a lot of interest in what caused the crash. I hadn't realised that it had been such a big story in the UK until catching up on the news today.