College of West Anglia students explore British Airways’ Cranebank Heathrow training hub featured on TV

12:57 05 June 2014

Students dressed for the part to survive in a smoke-filled aircraft.

Students dressed for the part to survive in a smoke-filled aircraft.


Travel and tourism students got the rare chance to see and experience a centre which is part of a hit TV programme.

Students and staff pose at the bottom of the escape chute in the training plane at BA’s Cranebank centre at Heathrow.Students and staff pose at the bottom of the escape chute in the training plane at BA’s Cranebank centre at Heathrow.

Nearly 30 College of West Anglia students visited the Cranebank training hub of British Airways at Heathrow Airport.

Cranebank is at the heart of BBC 2 documentary series A Very British Airline.

And just like the trainee aircrew in the programme, the students got the chance to experience escaping from a plane down a chute, go in a smoke chamber, experience a pilot incapacitation exercise and practise getting people onto a life raft if a plane lands in the sea.

Cranebank was in use on the day by BA’s own staff, which meant the students could enjoy lunch in the presence of its pilots and cabin crew.

Since the visit some of the students have said they are interested in becoming air crew once they finish their course.

Course director Nicola Leadley said: “The day was a fantastic opportunity to experience first-hand what it is like to be a British Airways cabin crew trainee.

“The students got to demonstrate their skills using the emergency equipment as well as experiencing a mock crash in the cabin simulator.

“They thoroughly enjoyed the practical activities organised by the airline and took a lot from the day to help with their studies as well as with their future industry careers”.

Details about joining the travel and tourism course can be found on

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