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  • Leadership

  • Team Dynamics

  • Uncertainty

  • Overcoming Fear

  • Change Programmes





A routine British Airways long-haul flight from Brisbane to Singapore suddenly turned into a worst-case scenario for the seasoned Captain and his first officer. Without warning they hit a high altitude roller coaster that tested their flying skills and the strength of the Boeing 747-400 aircraft to the ultimate.


Bill was later awarded The Chairman’s Award — the highest award in the company for Leadership in Command of a flight that encounted severe turbulence suddenly plunging the aircraft up and down some 600ft resulting in some serious injuries. Tony Blair’s daughter was one of the passengers on board.




Bill ascended the career ladder quickly and became Senior Training Captain (Base Training Captain). He trained and examined British Airways pilots; Japan Airline System; Ghana Airways, Premier (Scandinavian) and RAF Pilots.


He gained much experience in team leadership and people management as a member of the Gatwick Task Force and Gatwick Customer First Team.He also worked on the British Airline Pilots Association representing British Airways Long-haul Pilots — all requiring delicate inter-personal diplomatic skills.


Having achieved 34 years flying for British Airways Bill thought he had been challenged by most aviation experiences but only his, and his First Officers calm approach to the crisis -whilst their training and drills kicked in - saved the Boeing 747 from disaster.His wide-ranging career has led him to believe that other business can benefit by drawing on these motivational experiences.

Four hours into the flight whilst over Bali, the airline was cruising at Mach.86, approximately 600 miles an hour at altitude. The crew were serving afternoon tea, when suddenly - and without any notice- Flight 016 dropped 300ft through the sky and immediately back up 300ft.


The changes were instant. This was repeated twice more. The pilot and co-pilot could hardly focus on the instruments.The drama lasted 90 seconds but it seemed like a lifetime to the passengers and the crew – many of whom were badly injured and the force pushed two stewards through the interior ceiling of the plane.


A large metal serving trolley landed in the seat where Tony Blair’s daughter and her friend had originally been sitting, before being moved by the crew to Club Class because she began feeling sick on take-off.


Captain Mullins confesses that he thought the ‘wings of the aircraft were not going to withstand the G force +3 - and the incredible change from +3G to -3G in seconds – when the plane was only stressed to 4G.Having made a passenger announcement and when everything had settled down, Captain Mullins visited the cabin and was confronted with utter chaos.


Bill reported that the crew were incredible and that good training and teamwork shone through. They landed in Singapore with a full emergency status.

Captain Bill Mullins believes that he can relate his experiences to the turbulent times that Corporate Britain is currently enduring. He believes businesses need to strive for good policies, robust systems, good teams and everyone pulling together.Among his many exploits, Bill works in the film industry and delivers motivational speeches.

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