Episode 1: Eric Moody

| July 16, 2010 | 20 Comments

Download Instructions

The podcast can be played on this page of downloaded to your computer. You may have to right click and “save as”. Episode length is 1 hour and 16 minutes. Scroll to the bottom of this post if you want to download without reading!

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Welcome to the inaugural episode from FlightPodcast.com – and thank you very much for visiting.

In our first episode we talk to Eric Moody. In 1982, Eric was the Captain of a British Airways 747 flight that had all four engines fail after it encountered volcanic ash. Rather than address issues that are already a matter of public record, we probed Eric for his views on training, crew resource management and the broader industry.

Eric is an amazing pilot that should never be defined by the 14-minutes of airtime he’s best known for. He is an incredible man whose (controversial) leadership and command skills defined the routine nature of his flying either side of Speedbird 9’er.

We finish up the show with a brief discussion on matters relating to Eric’s flight (with the benefit of both an armchair and hindsight).

We’re very new to this so we apologise for the poor sound, production quality, cheesy sound effects and corny music. It will no doubt improve.

Brief Details of the Incident

British Airways Flight 9, sometimes referred to as the Speedbird 9 or Jakarta incident, was a scheduled British Airways flight from London Heathrow to Auckland, with stops in Bombay, Madras, Kuala Lumpur, Perth, and Melbourne.

On 24 June 1982, the route was flown by the City of Edinburgh, a 747-236B. The aircraft flew into a cloud of volcanic ash thrown up by the eruption of Mount Galunggung (approximately 180 kilometres (110 mi) south-east of Jakarta, Indonesia), resulting in the failure of all four engines. The reason for the failure was not immediately apparent to the crew or ground control. The aircraft was diverted to Jakarta in the hope that enough engines could be restarted to allow it to land there. The aircraft was able to glide far enough to exit the ash cloud, and all engines were restarted (although one failed again soon after), allowing the aircraft to land safely.

The incident featured in an episode of the Mayday documentary TV series Air Crash Investigation titled “All Engines Failed”.

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It has to be clearly stated that any post-incident analysis or critical discussion is not to discredit the airline industry, airlines, agencies or to undermine any pilot’s decision making. Instead, this round table forum is designed to facilitate learning and create a proactive forum for safety issues in support of the aviation industry. The comments and opinions do not necessarily represent the opinions of the airlines in which our presenters work, and they are made for the sole purpose of education, safety and awareness.

Yes, the logo and header – and indeed the entire website design – will change. It’s early stages yet and we’re still tossing around some ideas. The same applies for our choice of music. We were very much split on music choice so you may find that it’ll change sometime soon.

We apologise for the very cheesy sound effects in the early stages of the program. Simply put, Ken’s humor deserved them.


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Category: Podcast Episodes

Comments (20)

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  1. Steve Visscher says:

    Very slick, guys. Great interview and nice blooper reel at the end. Looking forward to episode 2!

  2. David Keapes says:

    Good Old Eric,
    Still churning out the same old bull**** 28 years later. Whenever an incident occurs, ‘SKY’ News wheels the old ***** into the studio and he pontificates with no knowledge whatsoever! A highly embarrassing member of the aviation community!
    (If he’d read his NOTAMS, he wouldn’t have flown into the ash anyway. All other flights on the route that night managed to avoid it….)

  3. Bas Scheffers says:

    Really enjoyed that, well done!

    Hope you can get Peter Burkill on to talk about BA038 at some point.

    The first thing that came to mind when I heard of the experience level of the FO and that he continued to let him fly was: excellent decission.

    They basically had 30 seconds; the FO was already flying, he was already handling checklists. Why waste time switching? At FL390 you have time for that, not a 700 AGL.

    Had they wasted that time, would he have retracted the flaps soon enough to make it over the fence? We’ll never know but I know where my money would be.

  4. Donna Wilton says:

    Best aviation podcast on the web simple as that. You guys work really well together and couldn’t stop laughing towards the end.

  5. Damia says:

    Good job, guys, great podcast.

    You said on the podcast that you would post on the website the full two hours interview with Mr. Moody, but I don’t seem to be able to find it. Any clue?


    • Marty says:

      Hi Damia. That’s my faault and it’s an issue of lack of time time – I really apologise. If you’re on the mailing list I’ll send out an email when it’s available. Thanks for listening!

      • Damia says:

        That’s perfect.

        I understand the lack of time. One can really tell there is a lot of work behind your podcast. Thanks a lot, I can’t wait for a new episode.

  6. I have to say that you are all superstars for starting a podcast program like this. You are doing a magnificent job.

  7. Jarod says:

    Hey. Great job guys. Just pulled your link off the Qantas list and had a listen to number one and two. Great work. Thanks for making a program that pilots can listen to.

  8. Martin Xavier says:

    It was fascinating listening to Eric Moody’s story uncorrupted by commercial intent or ignorance. You all did a fine job of talking to Eric in a manner that easily captivates an audience from private pilots to us professional pilots. Eric’s story is a good fit in a CRM classroom for all the reasons that you seemed to touch on and I’ll be directing my class to this podcast for the ongoing information our airline doesn’t seem to provide.

  9. Mick Barnes says:

    Just to let you know I think I wey myself listening to the bloopers. It sounds like you all enjoy making this program as much as I enjoyed listening to it. Mick.

  10. Britt747 says:

    For me, Eric is a reminder of an effective old school captain. There’s little doubt he’s good, but I can’t help but wonder if he would have made a better commander with more targeted human factors in his early formative years.

    Love your work lads. Keep it up.

  11. […] our first attempt at recording for Flight Podcast, and for our first guest, we spoke to Captain Eric Moody (retired) about the incident of June, […]

  12. Milan says:

    Very insightful discussion. It’s a really great podcast and I can’t wait to hear the others.

  13. AliFred says:

    I watched this guy on TV tonight and here I am listening to him now. I’m training for my pilot licence and hope to work for BA in the future. It’s a great podcast.

  14. […] to be involved with Flight Podcast – broadcasting conversations with such amazing aviators as Eric Moody of Speedbird 9 (“All Four Engines Have Failed”), and just recently John Bartels of QF30 […]

  15. Jeff says:

    I fly the T7 with Singapore. The web is littered with enthusiasts that think they’re in a position to talk about aviation so it was nothing short of joyful hearing your in-depth discussion. Probably the most comprehensive account I’ve ever heard about what happened on the flight deck.

    Bloopers were fantastic. I’m working my way back from episode 6 and I’ve noticed the length of your gag reel decrease as you make more podcasts. We need more of them :)

  16. […] management is something that ‘professional’ pilots have always considered. It takes me back to Eric Moody’s comments with reference to CRM – “common sense and airmanship are not that far […]

  17. Denish Keating says:

    Greatest podcast in the world. I’ve watched a few docs with Moody and it’s always appeared scripted, as you would expect. I really enjoyed the candid talk from Eric and have to applaud you on a superb program. I really enjoyed it.

  18. Douglas Brook says:

    It must have been horrifying to go through such a terrifying experience. The pilots were faced with a confusing and inexplicable phenomenon. The aviation industry has learned so many lessons from these incidents. From these lessons I think nowadays as soon as the cabin crew saw the ash/smoke in the cabin (which happened very early in the incident) and could not find the source of the smoke the flight crew would have been informed and they would have started an emergency descent with aim to making an immediate emergency landing as we now know how crucial it is to land if there is the hint of a continuing fire threat. Although there was no fire on board the new procedures would have helped resolve the ash cloud situation quicker. Also the flight crew and cabin crew would now know to communicate more fully with each other and the flight crew could have informed the cabin crew to prep for a emergency landing or possible ditching much sooner which would have contributed to survival in the event the aircraft did ditch or make an emergency landing. As it was the cabin crew had virtually no information and would have only had 5 minutes in the end to prep for ditching were it to happen. With modern CRM there is open communication between cabin crew and flight crew. I wonder if there is also a procedure for a cabin crew member to stay on the flight deck to support the flight crew in an emergency? If so the cabin crew member could relay information to the cabin and they could assist the pilots – for instance bringing a portable oxygen bottle to the pilot who’s oxygen mask failed. This would have allowed the captain to keep gliding rather than having to sacrifice altitude.

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