The Forum’s Deputy Chairman Duncan Verity has an impressive collection of video documentaries, mainly connected with aviation.
At the meeting on the 24th of October he introduced a video titled “The Munich Air Crash” which referred to the serious incident on the 6th of February 1958 which involved the famous Manchester United football team known as the Busby Babes.
The team was returning from Belgrade where they had been playing in the European Champions Cup when their flight called into Munich to refuel. In wintery weather conditions the plane, a British European Airways chartered flight, failed in its attempt to take off and crashed into a farmhouse at the end of the runway. 23 of the 44 people on board suffered fatal injuries.
The blame for the crash was firmly placed on the pilot Captain James Thain by the German investigators and the video examined the justice of this verdict. Eventually the enquiry was re-opened and the cause was finally placed on the failure of the airport staff to clear slush from the runway although Captain Thain never piloted another flight.
The 48 Forum members present were rather subdued by this tragic story.