Concorde's Last Day
24th Oct 2003 – her last day
Watching 3 Concordes Land
At the same time BBC News, ITV News and Sky news where showing live coverage of the whole thing happening on tv, National radio stations where broadcasting this event live, tv camera crews and journalists from across the world where video-ing the whole thing.
Journalists and press photographers from every national newspaper you can think of where at Heathrow watching and taking photos of the same thing I was taking photos of……..You had press photographers around the outside of the airport and ones inside Heathrow who had access “Airside” access taking the same photos as me (but I was standing outside the airport).
This was truly a huge global event............ Thinking back being part of this whole event was mind blowing stuff and it showed how much people loved Concorde and how interested the press where in the whole thing.
At the time as each Concorde flew over and landed it didn’t feel any special or different to any other Concorde landing I saw in the past, it didn’t feel like this was the end of an eara, My mind was telling me it was but my soul couldn’t feel this.
In movies when things like this happen you hear some kind of warm upbeat music being played in the back ground, but in real life it wasn’t like that………All you could hear was the familiar sound of each Concorde’s engines rushing over head and the loud cheering, clapping and whistling of crowds around me.
Before last week I’d been at the same place countless times and again took the same photos of her landing but now because it was the last ever landings I knew I had to get good photos of them as I was seeing and recording “live“ history.
Also unlike the past this time round runway 27R didn’t just have me and hand full of people waiting for Concorde, it had hundreds and thousands of people waiting to see her land, this was very usual site so see so many people in one place.
After all 3 Concordes landed they slowly started to taxi around the north runway, before they headed towards the Concorde hangers.
Secret BA002 Engine shutdown
Due to G-BOAG coming home from America she was immediately ordered by Heathrow Air Traffic control to go to UK customs…….She obeyed the orders and headed towards a secret spot at Heathrow (where UK custom officers where waiting for her), when she saw them she stopped and shut her engines down.
Overall it was a sad and historic very event as she was the last BA002 from New York and by her shutting her engines down this marked official the end of transatlantic supersonic flight…… There should have been a fan fare, fire works outside, there should have been live tv cameras on board to mark this important event......... But nope it was all done in secret and while I stood out side Heathrow with countless others we never knew this was going, all we could see where a few Concordes taxiing around the runways.
After G-BOAG’s engines had been shut down UK police and customs officers boarded G-BOAG to make sure all was ok, then a flat truck (aircraft tug) was called to pull G-BOAG to the Concorde hangers.
While G-BOAG was having her papers checked, her sisters G-BOAE and G-BOAF leisurely walked around Heathrow, reminiscing at the good and bad times they had at such and such spots……. It was a melon collie moment for both as they knew this would never happen again.
Then Heathrow Air Traffic control gave both planes the green light to head home to the Concorde hangers.
In the pecking order G-BOAG was first out of the 3 to go to the Concorde hangers, next came her sister G-BOAE and last G-BOAF.
Above is a rough map of how the 3 taxied around North runway after landing.
This video shows the 3 Concordes taxi-ing.
Video was taken by my friend Thalystgv on his camcorder as he stood on the grandstand outside Heathrow Airport.
What you see here is what we all saw in real life as we stood outside the airport.
This shows the 3 Concordes taxing.
Video was taken by BBC News and Sky News with cameras mounted inside Heathrow Airport , this is what viewers on British tv saw.