On 24 June 1982, the route was flown by the City of
in San Francisco in 1980
The crew members of the accident segment had boarded the aircraft in
Without engine thrust, a 747-200 has a glide ratio of approximately 15:1, meaning it can glide forward 15 kilometres for every kilometre it drops. The flight crew quickly determined that the aircraft was capable of gliding for 23 minutes and covering 91 nautical miles (169 km) from its flight level of 37,000 feet (11,000 m). At 13:44 UTC (20:44
Many passengers, fearing for their lives, wrote notes to relatives. One such passenger was Charles Capewell, who scrawled "Ma. In trouble. Plane going down. Will do best for boys. We love you. Sorry. Pa XXX" on the cover of his ticket wallet.
Owing to the high Indonesian mountains on the south coast of the
Despite the lack of time, Moody made an announcement to the passengers that has been described as "a masterpiece of understatement":
As pressure within the cabin fell, oxygen masks dropped from the ceiling – an automatic emergency measure to make up for the lack of air. On the flight deck, however, Greaves's mask was broken; the delivery tube had detached from the rest of the mask. Moody swiftly decided to descend at 1,800 m per minute to an altitude where there was enough pressure in the outside atmosphere to breathe almost normally.
At 13,500 feet (4,100 m), the crew was approaching the altitude at which they would have to turn over the ocean and attempt a risky ditching. Although there were guidelines for the water landing procedure, no one had ever tried it in a Boeing 747. As they performed the engine restart procedure, engine number four finally started, and at 13:56 UTC (20:56
As the aircraft approached its target altitude, the St Elmo's fire effect on the windscreen returned. Moody throttled back; however, engine number two surged again and was shut down. The crew immediately descended and held 12,000 feet (3,700 m).
As Flight 9 approached
Engines one, two and three were replaced at Jakarta, as well as the windscreen, and the fuel tanks were cleared of the ash that had entered them through the pressurisation ducts, contaminating the fuel and requiring that it be disposed of. After the aircraft was ferried back to
Although the airspace around
The crew received various awards, including the Queen's Commendation for Valuable Service in the Air and medals from the British Air Line Pilots Association. Following the accident, the crew and passengers formed the Galunggung Gliding Club as a means to keep in contact. G-BDXH's engineless flight entered the Guinness Book of Records as the longest glide in a non-purpose-built aircraft (this record was later broken by Air Canada Flight 143 and Air Transat Flight 236).
One of the passengers, Betty Tootell, wrote a book about the accident, All Four Engines Have Failed, having managed to trace some 200 of the 247 passengers on the flight. In 1993 Tootell married fellow passenger James Ferguson, who had been seated in the row in front of her. She later noted: "The 28th December 2006 marks the start of our 14th year of honeymoon, and on the 24th June 2007 many passengers and crew will no doubt gather to celebrate the 25th anniversary of our mid-air adventure."
British Airways continued to operate the Flight 9 route from London Heathrow to
A nearly identical accident occurred on 15 December 1989 when KLM Flight 867, a Boeing 747-400 from