The opening sentences of the Wikipedia entry about the 1976 Zagreb mid-air collision:
On 10 September 1976, British Airways Flight 476, a Hawker Siddeley Trident en route from London to Istanbul, collided mid-air near Zagreb, Yugoslavia (modern-day Croatia), with Inex-Adria Aviopromet Flight 550, a Douglas DC-9 en route from Split, Yugoslavia, to Cologne, West Germany. The collision was the result of a procedural error on the part of Zagreb air traffic controllers.
All 176 people aboard the two aircraft were killed, making it, at the time, the world’s deadliest mid-air collision.
Rob Tierney is an Australian friend who I admire deeply. We first communicated via Skype video chats in the months leading up to the 2017 ICMI in Gold Coast, Australia, and met there. He was later to make a very generous donation which did much to keep J4MB afloat financially for a time.
Rob was at one time an air traffic controller, and on duty in 1994 when two planes had a “near miss”, coming close to a mid-air collision. He suffered PTSD as a result, and the impact has resonated with him to this day. He’s survived some very tough challenges in his life, and has frequently considered suicide, which ended his sister’s life.
As part of his healing process, he became drawn to the 1976 Zagreb mid-air collision, and in September 2018 he visited the sites where the planes’ wreckage landed. He’s campaigning for memorials to be erected there, for the 50th anniversary of the collision. He felt the urge to create a video as a tribute to those who lost their lives on that fateful day in 1976, and titled it Until We Have Faces (video, 10:53). He is also maintaining a document on Google Docs, here (19 pages as of 10 January, 2022).
Rob, thank you.
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