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A BA captain was sucked out of a cockpit window mid-flight 30 years ago and lived to tell the tale

As tales of survival against the odds go, this one takes some beating.

Thirty years ago a British Airways captain was sucked halfway out of his cockpit windscreen when it blew out, 17,300ft over Oxfordshire.

He survived because a steward held onto his trouser belt and legs – and thanks to his co-pilot managing to make an emergency landing.

Thirty years ago British Airways captain Tim Lancaster was sucked halfway out of his cockpit windscreen when it blew out, 17,300ft over Oxfordshire. This image was taken after the plane safely landed at Southampton

Captain Timothy Lancaster (in bed) recovering in Southampton General Hospital after his terrifying ordeal. With him are crew members (left to right) Alistair Atchison, John Howard, Nigel Ogden, Susan Prince and Simon Rogers

It was June 10, 1990, and the flight crew of the Malaga-bound plane, a BAC-111 aircraft, had earlier performed a routine take-off from Birmingham.

But then, over Didcot, the left-hand windscreen came loose and flew off, causing a potentially deadly decompression.

The air left the flight deck with such force that the cockpit door was pulled off its hinges and hurled against the throttle controls, causing the plane to rapidly accelerate as it headed downwards.

The captain, Tim Lancaster, was half sucked out, with his legs caught on the flight controls.

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