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Eric Lane Burslem

Eric Lane Burslem

A display celebrating The British Airline Pilots’ Association’s founder

1 June 2016 — 19 June 2016

Time 10:00 - 17:00

Duration 7 hours

Cost In order to keep our exhibitions programme affordable to everyone, please make a donation

1 - 19 June 2016, Eric Lane Burslem @ People's History Museum © BALPAThe British Airline Pilots’ Association (BALPA) presents its founder, Eric Lane Burslem, in a display to celebrate his inclusion in the People’s History Museum’s 100 Radical Heroes list.  Lane Burslem may seem quite different from those who would usually be deemed ‘radicals’, being a man from a financially secure background working in what was, at the time, seen as a very glamorous profession, but his contribution to flight safety sees him claim this mantle quite deservedly.

In 1937, following two serious incidents, this unlikely radical founded The British Airline Pilots’ Association with the goal of improving flight safety for pilots and the travelling public alike.  Aircraft safety at that time was still in its infancy; mandatory safety standards and procedures were relatively few.  In 1935 an Imperial Airways aircraft had crashed with only the captain surviving.  Over the next 18 months, pilots had grown steadily more concerned about the technical standards in the company.  Their concerns were not welcomed.

BALPASo, acknowledging that enough was enough, Lane Burslem set about launching the first British pilots’ union.  Around 400 pilots turned out to that first mass meeting in June 1937.  The union has since gone from strength to strength and BALPA now holds a membership of around 10,000 pilots, and has secured recognition in in 23 different companies; from legacy carrier to low cost, from charter to executive jets, from search and rescue to flying instructors.

Discover how Eric Lane Burslem changed the very landscape of flight safety through his determination to stand up and speak out on behalf of all pilots, as well as the passengers they serve.

Suitable for adults and young people