View Full Version : Pilot tows A-340 to safety

29th Jul 2001, 14:29
In the middle of the mayhem in Colombo the other one brave (foolhardy) pilot saved an A-340 on his own initiative.

When the attack started this gentleman, who is a senior Training captain I believe, was at the airport. Realizing that the aircraft were in danger, he along with a mechanic, hooked up a 340 and towed it away to a nearby hangar. All this while bullets were flying around.

They hoped to save some more, but the three remaining aircraft were already destroyed by the time they reached the relative safety of the hangar.

Full details are to be confirmed, but if this is true, the man deserves a medal. Not to mention a fat cheque for saving a 100 million dollars.

29th Jul 2001, 16:19
What about the mechanic, doesnt he deserve anything??.

29th Jul 2001, 17:39
as usual - pilots a hero the mechanic gets forgotten (an im sure the driver hadnt a clue how to hook upa towbar an a tug if he tried...)

ahhhwell i guess one day we wont be mushrooms forever ......

29th Jul 2001, 17:43
Okay, so they bothdeserve medals!

I'm told the person who initiated the deed was the captain in question. Can't see too many guys on this forum (myself included) trying a stunt like that though.

411A - you must have known the guy, think of the craziest (and best) pilot down there.

29th Jul 2001, 19:15
In the crazy world of the airlines, both of them will probably be fired.

Yeah, they saved the aircraft, but had the aircraft been destoyed, the insurance company would have delivered a shiny new aircraft to the line.

So the company's point of view is that they are probably out 100 million dollars. Losing an aircraft with nobody onboard to a terrorist act or act of war is probably a good thing. No liability/negligence...

But it would certainly make a good scene in a movie


29th Jul 2001, 21:51
Since exactly when has Harrison Ford got his ATPL ?


30th Jul 2001, 01:37
Hate to spoil your afternoon teas, but in most insurance policies there is a "force majeur" clause which excludes the company from paying in the case of war, terrorist activities and such, etc. etc. etc. Being in Sri Lanka, if I was an insurance company, I would put every clause possible in their policy.

Star of the County Down
30th Jul 2001, 06:51
Has anyone got a link to any photos après le damage? Cannot find any on the BBC News.

emiel luther
30th Jul 2001, 10:45
Check out these pics from Yahoo.

30th Jul 2001, 17:12
For E MORSE: I do not know whether Mr. Ford has an ATP but I do know he has at least a private, multiengine, and helo.

As far as the insurance goes, each policy is different but you are right that most exclude acts of war or revolution. Anybody from Lloyds on here to explain?

30th Jul 2001, 19:33
Being personally aquainted with Mr. Ford, I can confirm that he has all the above ratings AND an ATPL.

30th Jul 2001, 21:10
Dunno if the insurance is at Lloyd's, but I am pretty certain that wherever it was placed, a war and civil war exclusion clause would be prominently attached (if insured in the west). I am sure even the Russians have been very aware of the rebels and civil war.

Insurrection, rebellion, riot and vandalism etc may also be excluded. I would be interested to hear just what happens - were the aircraft owned outright, or by lease?

Whoever actually owns them, may be out a few bucks!

30th Jul 2001, 21:16
Just had a second thought (better lie down in a minute). It is possible that a separate war coverage was in place. Bet it would be expensive though - but if there is a lease agreement for the a/c then it may be a stipulation of the contract to have full coverage.

Anybody have any info?

30th Jul 2001, 22:30
I believe they were insured and in UK.

Its one thing to operate in a war zone but its bit different when you are based there !!!
As someone has said it would be a leasing requirement and pretty expensive!

31st Jul 2001, 00:50
I can't believe this guy risked his life and that of a mechanic to save a hunk of aluminum. Bravery is something to be taken completely in context. What may be brave in one situation may be considered foolish or downright criminal in another. Screw the company's airplane, they can buy a new one and bill me. I'd have dug a hole so deep they'd still be looking for me.

[ 30 July 2001: Message edited by: Brad737 ]

Critical Mach#
31st Jul 2001, 02:13
About insurace coverage...

On last issue FI, pag 10....Peter Hill, Srilankan CEO "Srilankan is optimistic that its insurers will cover at least some of the damage and replacement cost. The aircraft are fully insured for replacement. In a week or two´s time they´ll be in a better position to give an answer. Peter Hill believes they´ll be well covered".
The bill is about $500 million making it one of the biggest losses for years.


31st Jul 2001, 11:05
Ok Kubota , well , give him my regards will you ?


1st Aug 2001, 13:25
If it was a ship saved by being towed to safety the person who rescues it gets a substantial sum for salvage. Wonder if these guys have a case for it ? A good percentage of an A 340 would start to get me out of a foxhole for sure!!

5th Aug 2001, 11:39
Many get-outs for the insurance companies so it is normal for seperate policy for war risk.
Its the operator who pays the insurance but it must meet lease company's requirements.

5th Aug 2001, 15:51
Bigger cajones than me that's for sure...the man shows dedication to his employer,(let's see if they repay in kind).. and fellow employees, as loss of additional aircraft might render more of his fellow pilots jobless...would have been more concerned with getting home to wifey and the kids myself...but hey..good on him...Brad 737...why don't you dig the hole then.and jump in....we won't look for you promise...

Co ordination unaffected
6th Aug 2001, 02:50
That's a couple of really strong guys! Bagsy me not arm wrestle with those two.

Well done boys! :D

6th Aug 2001, 09:07
Oh my mapshift, I fear I have offended thee. Yet another reason to live. I still think risking his life for a piece of metal was bloody stupid. Maybe not in Tennessee.

6th Aug 2001, 12:48
Whole bunch of expats got their pink tickets over the last few days - very sad state of affairs.

6th Aug 2001, 16:40
Word from the engineers is that actually there were two seperate acts of bravery (stupidity). Ramp all cleaned up too, never know it happened.

Some mechanics towed one to safety but parked it on an adjoining bay. That got blown up anyway. The pilot mentioned taxied the other by himself and took it all the way to the hangar where it was safe. Big cojones.

About three dozen guys laid off, though it appears the company is trying to place them in Mauritus and Vietnam.

Big Brother Emirates doesn't seem to be taking any pilots. They are supposed to pull out of Colombo too, as are CX and SIA. Guess terrorism works eh?

Cyclic Hotline
9th Aug 2001, 03:53
Sri Lanka's economy hit as insurers label country war risk

COLOMBO, Aug. 8 (Kyodo) - Insurers worldwide have slapped a war risk label on Sri Lanka after last month's rebel attack on the country's main air force base and adjacent international airport, inflicting a further blow to an economy reeling from the aftershock of the devastating pre-dawn attack.

''The situation is grim,'' Chandra Jayaratne, chairman of the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce, told Kyodo News on Wednesday.

''The stock market performance on Tuesday tells the whole story,'' he said, referring to the crash of the Colombo stock market to new lows after the attack.

The London-based War Risks Rating Committee has formally declared that Sri Lanka carries insurance risks for ships and aircraft by labeling voyages and flights to and from there as ''held covered.''

The label means underwriters are free to set rates at their discretion, premiums commensurate to the stability of the area are to be charged and special surcharges are levied for on-carriage cargoes.

The July 24 attack by Tamil Tiger separatists on Sri Lanka's only international airport and the adjoining military air base destroyed or damaged a large part of the country's national airline fleet.

The apparel manufacturing sector, which earns the most foreign exchange for the country, held a crisis meeting Tuesday with Treasury Secretary P.B. Jayasundera to work out a strategy to counter both the increased costs and lack of air freight capacity following the airport attack.

An estimated 30% of garment exports are flown to markets in Europe and North America, and manufacturers have had to contend with prohibitive insurance surcharges and flight cancellations following the airport attack.

''Airlines are either canceling flights or downgrading aircraft flying to Colombo as a result of the huge insurance mark-ups following the attack,'' one airline agent said on condition of anonymity. ''Something must be quickly done to control the damage.''

The vital tourism industry, which had expected a record 450,000 arrivals this year, has taken a heavy twin-blow, with prospective visitors scared off by the airport attack and the lack of seats to Colombo resulting from the pullout by airlines.

''We have nearly 700 rooms on this stretch of the coast,'' the manager of a beach resort in the south said. ''When the guests who are now with us leave, less than 40 rooms will be occupied.''

Local insurance companies have strongly protested about the ''war risk'' tag saying that imposing this label on the whole country was unjustifiable. The state-owned Sri Lanka Insurance Corporation has written a letter to London urging a review.

9th Aug 2001, 05:09
Tell you what "Brad737" you sound like one of the snot-nosed college punks who are the ruination of this whole industry...here is a posting about two brothers in industry who may or may not be as fortunate as the likes of you...who did their best as they saw fit in a time of need that the likes of you and I will never see...and here you are criticizing them....god help you...and all of us.....

9th Aug 2001, 12:24
Brad737-You refer to an A340 as nothing but
a hunk of metal.
I as I'm sure many other pilots do, look at
an A340 as a thing of beauty.

Max Angle
9th Aug 2001, 12:51

I must say I am rather with Brad737 on this one, an A340 is most certainly a thing of beauty but it is just a hunk of metal in the end. I might just (but only just) risk my life to save my own beloved little aircraft but I cannot imagine getting my arse shot off to save one of my employers machines. Perhaps this guy could see his livelihood going up in flames and all power to him. I think I would have joined Brad in a deep hole or run rapidly in the other direction. They can't build another one of me in Toulouse, there are a few things that would improve my scrawny body but automatic gun fire is not one them!.

9th Aug 2001, 13:33
Ah the question of hull insurance happens to be my speciality....

Under the main hull and liability policies held by all airlines there are exclusions for War, Terrorism and allied perils.

However, almost all airlines also purchase a specialist "Hull War" policy which covers on War, Terrorism and allied perils. If an airline operates aircraft leased or financed (rather than outright purchase) then this policy will be a requirement of the lessor or financiers.

I know that SirLankan's aviation insurance is placed via Willis Aviation, a large London based broker, and the current "reserve" placed on the claim by insurers is US$450m.

There will be a policy deductible (excess) which will need to be borne by the airline.

It was also noted in this weeks Travel Trade Gazette, that as a result of the loss of these aircraft, SriLankan is extending it's retirement policy and may well be undertake some compulsory redundancies amongst all staff.

Therefore, I am afraid it is not good for them at all, especially as it is unlikely they owned any of the aircraft, therefore the money received from insurers will all go direct to the aircraft owners, leaving Sri Lankan to go out and negotiate new leases if that what they require....but bear in mind the lead time on an A330 is currently c12 months.

Oh, as a result of the incident "War Insurers" are charging all airlines (inc SriLankan) an additional approx US$100k per flight into Colombo....hence they don't seem to be rushing out to find lots of replacement aircraft at the moment, until they either set up new routes avoiding home base or any potential troubles subside once again.

10th Aug 2001, 11:52
A whip around for the guys? NOT

nullSri Lankan Airlines snaps surcharge on tickets

August 09, Colombo: Sri Lanka’s national carrier Sri Lankan Air today announced that it would levy a surcharge of US Dollars 80 on an air ticket. This surcharge came soon after London insurers declared Sri Lanka a war zone and announced that they would charge a surcharge on airplanes, ships and cargo to Sri Lanka.

10th Aug 2001, 13:06
No 330s for a year? I hear there's loads of L1011s going for a song with no (likely) hours in the near future :D

10th Aug 2001, 16:18
UL has started implementing the 40 USD
insurance surcharge from today. Unless other
airlines follow suit, this will mean further problems for UL as their fares with this new surcharge will get very uncompetitive.
A return ticket from Trivandrum in South India to Colombo which costs approximately
USD 120 will now cost USD 200 on UL.
Another interesting fact is that both the UL
A320s are also now out of service so the airline has cancelled some short/medium haulroutes (TRZ/BOM/DEL/KHI) and operating other 320 routes with 330s to reduced frequencies.

11th Aug 2001, 03:15
Most opportune time to dust off the old L1011s, an affordable alternative for this battered airline.

Neither the airline nor this impoverished war torn country have the budget to afford the extravagance of expensive new jets.

Precious dollars spent on tourist infrastructure should be redirected towards political settlements and overall peace amongst its citizens.


11th Aug 2001, 10:52
According to "Flight" magazine, it was Captain Pujitha Jayakody who moved the A340 under its own power, then returned twice to the terminal to help move 2 A320s with a truck?

11th Aug 2001, 23:47
Must say one thing,this guy seems to be a Sri Lankan(Pilot),who would have had the guts to do what he did,since they are used to the turmoils for years,seems hardened.
Took a lot of guts,whatever he may have thought at the time.
My hats off for him for sure.

12th Aug 2001, 05:31
He was Flt Ops Manager when I joined in the early nineties and was very well thought of in the post, especially by expats. He started as a steward in Air Ceylon and worked his way up. Top notch guy.