Basel – A Humbling Afterthought
Thursday 8th December 2016
Sitting in reception of a Basel city centre hotel approximately 12 hours after I was expecting to be home indoors is altogether unexpected. But, whilst trying not to be over dramatic, at least we are safe and well.
Many of the media websites detailed extremely speculative and largely inaccurate information as to what happened at Basel Airport last night but the conclusion was a loss of life and that is both dreadfully sad and difficult to comprehend.
Those sitting (like me) on the left hand side of our BA flight, second in the queue for take-off in the taxi area running parallel to the run way, saw a flash of orange that lit up both our aircraft wing and the dark and very murky area around us. It lasted less than a second but was unlike anything you would consider as ‘normal’.
A few moments later I looked out my window and backwards and could see a mass of blue flashing lights.
Our captain announced there had been an ‘unsuccessful landing attempt’ and very quickly it became apparent this had resulted in a loss of life and the airfield had been closed down.
After further waiting time we headed back to the airport and our BA staff made the decision to cancel the flight and to try again in the morning.
Only when looking at aviation news stories once back at our hotel did it become clear that the stricken aircraft appeared to have missed our own plane’s cockpit by a ‘matter of a few feet’.
The atmosphere amongst us felt kind of surreal and the fact it seems none have us slept well suggests we all found it difficult to remove those thoughts from our head.
At the moment we have been told we are booked on a flight at 11am…..but given the number of cancellations and delays we certainly aren’t counting our chickens.
But inconvenience is one thing….