ATL : DEEP IMPACT
'Biederman's Impact' from JFK Airport
'Biederman's Impact' from JFK Airport
Time: 14.32 EST - 27 minutes after impact.
Absolute chaos at JFK airport as dozens of aircraft, some hardly refueled from landing earlier tried desperately to get into take off positions and get into the air before the Mega-tsunami created by Biederman swamped the area.
Speedbird Seven, a British Airways Concorde registration G-BOAF sat towards the west end of the taxiway adjacent to runway 13R/31L, it's Rolls Royce Olympus engines on idle waiting it's turn as a long line of aircraft blocked his entrance to the runway.
Captain Boyd who was on his first transatlantic return leg since he passed his certification on Concorde tapped his fingers impatiently mentally encouraging every other aircraft to get a move on. He pressed his comm's button to contact the JFK tower to get some rough idea of a take off time and just got garbled communications due to everyone doing exactly the same thing.
"Speedbird One Five Six! . . . .Speedbird One Five Six! . . . . . this is Speedbird Seven, how's it looking from your end?" Boyd asked the British Airways Boeing 747-400 ten aircraft ahead in the line.
" Fucking chaos Speedbird Seven . . . . we're not going anywhere fast, and now we've got panicked folk running onto the aprons and taxiways trying to get onto the planes, it's turning into a fucking free for all!" replied the Captain of Speedbird One Five Six. Co pilot Jenkins then pointed to their port side the thousands of people from the terminals starting to stream onto the aprons, some holding their children into the air as a bargaining chip and headed towards the loitering aircraft after breaking through the windows and barriers, each desperately trying to board an aircraft to avoid the death sentence from the approaching wave.
Another couple of minutes later and Speedbird Seven had moved a mere ten aircraft along in the line still way off getting off the ground while at the same time a throng of at least a few hundred desperate folk had gathered around the aircraft shouting, pleading with the captain to be let on even though the aircraft was maxed out with 'refugees' sitting in the aisle of the aircraft unrestrained.
It was then that Boyd let out a "FUCK ME!!!!" as he spotted a dark grey line on the horizon coming from their starboard side that signified the arrival of the wave, his exclamation causing Flight Engineer Rigby to jump out of his chair and crouch behind Jenkins and look out the window.
"What do we do? . . . . what do we do?" shouted Rigby as he realized that time was running out.
"Fuck this for a game of soldiers!" Boyd said as he grabbed hold of the center console and pushed forward the four levers controlling the Olympus engines causing them to scream into life as they ramped up to full power while Rigby ran back to his seat.
"What about the folks standing next to us?" Jenkins asked as he also grabbed the center levers helping Boyd to get the 'Old Lady' to move.
"They'll either get run over . . . or drowned then . . . . we can't help the poor bastards!" Boyd brutally replied knowing full well it was now an act of survival for him and the rest of the those on Speedbird Seven.
As the 'Old Lady' got up to twenty five percent thrust Boyd turned the aircraft off the taxiway and did a one eighty degree turn onto the grass between both the taxiway and runway and instructed Jenkins to help him get the 'Old Lady' up to take off speed, the maneuver causing the occupants in the cabin to scream blue murder as the aircraft rocked from side to side and bounced about.
"What you thinking?" Jenkins said as the thrust hit one hundred percent.
"I'm about to illustrate the Concorde's superb off field take off capability!" Boyd replied with his tongue firmly tucked inside his cheek. It was then that Jenkins started to tick off the airspeed while Rigby sat in the Flt Engineers chair nervously watched the dials in front of him.
"Fifty knots! . . . . sixty knots! . . . . seventy knots!" Jenkins shouted as the entire aircraft shuddered violently from the uneven surface, the line of stranded aircraft quickly passing past their starboard wing.
"It's gaining on us!" Boyd shouted as he quickly looked out of his window seeing the huge wave enter the New York City metropolitan area, which sent the folks on the aprons and around the standing aircraft running for their lives.
"One hundred knots! . . . one hundred and ten knots! . . . .one hundred and twenty knots!" Jenkins continued to reel off the numbers the best he could, his vision continuing to deteriorate from the shaking and jarring action inside the cockpit, it was like trying to read a book sitting on top of a pneumatic drill. Then there was an almighty bang then 'thud' which was not only heard but felt through both pilot's and co-pilot's sticks.
"Shit!!!! . . . . looks like we've blown a tyre" said Rigby.
"Couldn't give a fuck! . . . . so long as we keep going!" replied Boyd as a large shadow moved across the airport signifying to the three men inside the cockpit that they were losing the speed battle with the wave that was travelling at over six hundred miles a hour.
As the 'Old Lady' quickly came up to the end of the grassed area between both the runway and taxiway, it told them that they were running out of space before they hit V-1 and thus V-R. It was now or never as Jenkins marked off the numbers until the magic two hundred and fifty knots.
"One hundred and ninety knots! . . . . two hundred knots! . . . . two hundred and ten knots!"
Just before they hit the two taxiways coming across their run at a ninety degrees Boyd let out a long angered shout of desperation as Jenkins shouted "V-1!!!!" as he with the help of Jenkins lifted the nose up of the aircraft, the 'Old 'Lady' finally getting into the air and over the 'Bergen Basin'. All of a sudden alarms filled the cockpit with noise as the Terrain Awareness and Warning System kicked into action as they screamed over the homes at Howard's Beach and Lindenwood.
'Terrain! . . . Pull Up! . . . . Terrain! . . . Pull Up! . . . Terrain! . . . Pull Up!'
Keeping the aircraft low to desperately increase his speed and to try and outrun the wave behind them he continued to fly west bound low over the New York urban area. Screams of panic again filled the cabin indicating how close the wave was and the damage it was doing to the metropolitan area, and the possible millions it was killing. After they'd hit three hundred knots both pilot and co-pilot, keeping the Olympus engines at full pelt pulled back on their sticks and made a near eighty degree vertical climb to get out of the reach of the wave.
Spray from the top of the wave behind them started raining sea water on top of them blocking the crews vision forcing them to use their instruments. Just as they reached two hundred feet the TAWS system stopped barking out it's warning but another set of warnings kicked into action regarding the engines.
"We're starting to flame out in one and four Chief!" screamed Rigby as he watched the instrument panel start emitting warning lights.
"What the hell! . . . . what's causing this? . . . . the spray?" asked Boyd.
"Looks like it . . . we need to get up as fast as we can and out of this shit, . . . we're dead if we don't!" said Rigby.
"Too late . . . engine one out . . . . . . engine four out! . . . . shutting down one . . . . shutting down four" shouted Jenkins as the crew desperately tried to get their aircraft out of harms way.
"Can we still climb like this on only two engines?" shouted Rigby.
"We'll soon find out!" Boyd replied.
Continually climbing in the now virtual darkness of the waves shadow the stall warning erupted, causing both sticks to shudder violently.
"C'mon! . . . . c'mon! . . . . . c'mon! . . . . you can do it 'Old 'un! . . . . you can do it!" Boyd talked out loud egging the 'Old Lady' onwards towards safety.
Then all of a sudden, after what seemed like an eternity, at a thousand feet the rain that had blocked their vision lifted and so did the shadow that had engulfed them indicating that they were above and behind the wave and finally safe.
Quickly dropping the nose and leveling out the cockpit crew watched the one thousand feet wave continue on it's murderous path west bound across the coast and into the interior of the Eastern Seaboard. It was then that the stall warnings stopped.
"This is your Captain speaking!" Boyd said down the intercom after pressing his button. "Everyone can relax . . . we're safe . . . it was a close run thing but we should be out of it by now and will soon be heading for home!" He then turned around to both Jenkins and Rigby and said
"Not bad was it . . . . considering it was just my second take off since passing my certification?"
"Yep! . . . . they fucking don't learn you that on the simulator do they?" Rigby said.
"Right! . . . . let's try and get number one and four started, I don't fancy travelling back over the Atlantic with only two engines! . . . . besides we need to make a one eighty turn" said Boyd.
"Speedbird Seven! . . . . Speedbird Seven!" The comm's equipment crackled into life.
"This is Speedbird Seven . . . . who's this?" Boyd asked.
"Who the fuck do you think it is? . . . . it's Speedbird One Five Six!" replied the pilot on the other end.
"Bollocks! . . . you we're stuck in traffic ten doors down from us!" Boyd responded.
"Ah yes, we was but I told my co-pilot here to keep an eye on you in case you tried a silly stunt like that by going down the middle Rally Cross style . . . . and when you did I thought I'd follow you!" You're were lucky though, you had a tyre go out on you . . . . I thought you were done for for a minute!" explained the pilot.
"So how did you make it?" Boyd asked
"Funnily enough I saw a program a few years ago about Air Force One doing a emergency climb away from a runway at around eighty degrees so I thought I might as well give it a go!" the pilot replied.
"Are the passengers ok?" Boyd said.
"Well put it this way . . . they all ended up in a heap at the arse end of the cabin after the climb!" the pilot said then chuckled to himself then carried on "Well what do they expect . . . this is British Airways!"
"Jesus! . . . . so where are you?" Boyd enquired.
"We're on your six about ten miles away . . . . we're trying to get our number one and two engines going as they flamed out on us . . . . so what's your plan?" the pilot asked.
"We're going to make a turn and head for home after getting or one and four engines restarted, but we're going to keep it subsonic on the way home to give everything the chance to settle down after the wave hits the UK, to be honest I don't think we will be landing at Heathrow, especially the damage the wave is doing on this side of the pond! . . . looks like we'll be hunting around for somewhere to land" Boyd said.
"That sounds like a plan . . . mind if we join you?"
"Not at all, we could do with the company!" Boyd said
And with that both Speedbird's set out for home