Seated in front of her, James Ferguson was on his way back from a trip to the Holy Land, and was looking forward to getting home.Some rows ahead, Charles Capewell sat with his two young boys, Chas, ten, and Stephen, seven.With unbelievable restraint, Captain Eric Moody addressed British Airways flight 009 as his Boeing 747 drifted inexorably down towards the Indian Ocean. We are doing our damnedest to get it under control.Displaying the stiff-upper-lip spirit that built an empire, he uttered the words that are every air passenger's worst nightmare: 'Ladies and gentlemen, this is your captain speaking. I trust you are not in too much distress.' Also see• BA strike called off at eleventh-hour• Stowaway dies on LA flight from London Minutes before, while cruising at ten kilometres above the sea, Captain Moody had instructed his first officer to send a Mayday call to ground control in nearby Indonesia.'To my surprise, it was covered in a brilliant, shimmering light,' she recalls.
I didn't know what was happening.' Neither did the crew.
He was one of the first pilots ever trained on the Boeing 747.
First officer Roger Greaves had been a co-pilot for more than six years, and Barry Townley-Freeman was flight engineer.
He says: 'As young as they were, they knew we were in bad, bad trouble and they looked at me as if to say: "Well, what do we do now, Dad?
"' In the absence of an explanation, the cabin crew stowed away loose items in a bustle of efficiency, offering blind reassurance to passengers in an attempt to stop the air of latent panic igniting.