Thanks to Ken Bannister and Paul Collins for forwarding this story about Rick Eades of No 11 Cse. Rick ended up as a Flight Engineer on Concorde and managed to fly into the record books in 1996. Rick sadly passed away in April 2005.
Credits and full story here.
‘On 7 February 1996, this modern engineering marvel enjoyed a moment of record-breaking history. For that day, Captain Leslie Scott, Senior First Officer Tim Orchard and Senior Engineering Officer Rick Eades flew British Airways Concorde G-BOAD between New York City, USA, and London, UK, in a world-beating time of 2 hr 52 min 59 sec. The plane covered the 6,035 km (3,750 miles) at an astonishing average speed of 2,010 km/h (1,250 mph).
Quite a bit of thought had to go into breaking this record. For optimum upper-air temperature, and ‘low level’ wind velocity, February was deemed the best month to make the attempt. Scott, Orchard and Eades knew they could take advantage of the ‘jet stream’ – the narrow band of westerly winds that blow 9–16 km (5.5–10 mi) above the Earth’s surface – on ascent and descent. And it would be important to accelerate to Mach 2 quickly after take-off, and decelerate at the other end as late as possible. Moreover, Orchard would have to liaise, off the record, with US and UK air traffic control (ATC) personnel in order to minimise any hold-ups at take-off or landing. And, of course, to record the departure and arrival times precisely.
The trio made the decision not to tell the hundred-or-so passengers, or even the five-person cabin crew, about the record attempt – just in case they were unsuccessful. And, of course, they weren’t going to risk the safety of anyone on board just to set a new world record. If anything went wrong, for whatever reason, they would abandon the attempt.
In the event, everything went just about as smoothly as it could have. Well, nearly. Approaching Heathrow, the Concorde G-BOAD would be landing facing east; unfortunately, all the other air traffic using that particular runway would be landing facing west. For obvious reasons, ATC at Heathrow was uneasy about the Concorde landing in the opposite direction to all other aircraft – unless they could be sure that they were actually going to break the world record! Messrs Scott, Orchard and Eades assured them that they would. They were true to their word.
On landing, the cabin crew were told that they had unsuspectingly been part of a successful world record attempt. Then the crew broke the news to the delighted passengers. And if you’re ever in New York, you can visit this record-breaking Concorde at the city’s Intrepid Sea, Air and Space Museum:’