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British Airways passengers heard pilot make Mayday call over the Atlantic at 36,000ft

// Latest News
  • Captain radioed for help when smoke filled cockpit on Boeing 777
  • Plane had to land in Shannon, Ireland, where passengers waited seven hours for replacement

By William Turvill

PUBLISHED: 21:05 EST, 16 November 2013 | UPDATED: 22:18 EST, 16 November 2013

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Frightened passengers on board a British Airways flight have told how they heard their pilot making a Mayday distress call 36,000ft above the Atlantic.

The captain radioed for help when smoke filled the cockpit of the BA plane - and accidentally turned the public address system on.

The Boeing 777 was flying from London Heathrow to New York but had to land at Shannon Airport in Ireland.

Passengers on a British Airways flight heard a pilot make a Mayday distress call above the Atlantic (file picture)

Passengers on a British Airways flight heard a pilot make a Mayday distress call above the Atlantic (file picture)

According to the Sunday Express, the BA flight took off at 1.05pm last Saturday with 220 people on board.

Just before 2pm the crew spotted smoke filling the cabin.

After putting on oxygen masks they immediately contacted air traffic control.

After accidentally switching on the cabin address system, the start of their call was heard by passengers.

The flight had to land at Shannon Airport , with those on board told there had been an electrical fault.

Passengers then had to wait seven hours for a replacement jet to JFK airport in New York, according to the paper.

Some took to The Aviation Herald to complain about their experience. One user, Lester H, said: ‘I will not fly BA again. Ever.’

Passengers had to wait seven hours at Shannon Airport for a replacement jet to JFK airport in New York (file picture)

Passengers had to wait seven hours at Shannon Airport for a replacement jet to JFK airport in New York (file picture)

But others were more sympathetic towards BA. Rob Waite said: ‘I was a passenger on board this flight with my new wife.

‘It was pretty frightening hearing the Mayday call, but [the] flight crew said the PA was accidentally turned on in the hubbub. The descent was controlled and landing heavy but again controlled.

‘Staff at Shannon couldn't have been more accommodating and we were offered free refreshments whilst there courtesy of BA.’

According to the Sunday Express, the airline is still investigating the incident. It said the source of the smoke is thought to have been an overheating cockpit circulation fan.

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