Uncategorized

We remember: One of the biggest aviation disasters in Manchester


As we come up to the day 36 years ago we remember those that perished on board an aircraft bound for Corfu.

On 22 August 1985 just before 7 am British Airtours 737 was starting to get ready for the trip to corfu with 131 passengers and 7 crew members on board the 737-200 Boeing aircraft with a superb safety record when it started to roll down the runway at break neck speed a loud bang was heard.

The captain Peter Terrington and first officer Brian Love took immediate action and applied the breaks, one of the engines had blown up causing a huge fire which spread to the rest of the aircraft, 55 people perished.


Investigations were underway and huge changes were made to aircraft, it was found isles were not wide enough, and lights were needed so people could see where they were going in the event of a fire, other changes made would mean in the event of another fire seating would be less toxic as this is what mostly killed people.

On a ITV World In Action programme an investigator claimed that more people would have got out of the aircraft had passenger not tried to grab luggage from overhead lockers, even a few seconds could have meant a life may have been saved.

Further investigations concluded that part of the engine had been a bit faulty with it showing less speed than the other, flight crews on that same aircraft previously reported the faults, as a precaution engineers inspected the issues, lots of tests were done and although parts of the engine had been welded due to cracks it was safe to fly again.

This was a huge disaster for Manchester Airport and for British AIrtours which was part of British Airways, it also meant the great safety record of the 737 was in tatters.

Air travel is safer now than driving a car, the disasters of the past gave rise to further modifications that ensured safety for everyone however we should also remember those innocent souls who passed away in such horrendous situation when they were all excited and planning ahead a vacation like no other.

Captain Peter Terrington and first officer Brian Love and two members of the Manchester Airport Fire Service Fireman Samuel Lyttle and Fireman Eric Arthur Westwood were all awarded the Queens gallantry medal, and the two members of the flight crew who died Sharon Ford and Jacqui Urbanski were posthumously given the same award.

Categories: Uncategorized