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Leeds in March 1998 - 18 stories making the news

It was the month during which Leeds and the football world held its breath.

Wednesday, 24th March 2021, 6:00 am

March 1998 will be remembered for a pilot's split second decision that saved the Leeds United team. The club's players and staff were among 40 passengers successfully evacuated after an aeroplane they were travelling in crash-landed at Stansted Airport. The team, minus manager George Graham who stayed in London, were heading back to Leeds Bradford Airport after a 3-0 Premiership defeat against West Ham United at Upton Park. But as it reached a height of 150 feet, the starboard engine exploded into flames and the pilot - 61-year-old Captain John Hackett - aborted the flight. The plane overshot the runway as it crash-landed, with the nose wheel collapsing as the craft came to a stop about 300 feet from the perimeter fence. Capt Hackett admitted at the time that his actions had been unorthodox and that he had abandoned company policy. But his actions were vindicated by an Air Accidents Investigation Branch (AAIB) report. Experts later concluded the plane had been just 30 seconds from a full-blown explosion. Enjoy these photo memories from across Leeds in March 1998. READ MORE: Leeds in March 1997 - 15 stories making the news LOVE LEEDS? LOVE NOSTALGIA? Join Leeds Retro on facebook

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