Inquest Day 3

I would like to start today’s report by saying that in all this talk of take off speeds and weights and runway distance and part composition, and with rows of suits and competing interests and shifting blame that we are talking about the death of my very dear friend. Of a real person. Which is why I’m posting this photo of Harry and the fabulous Janet.

Today the final passenger of the aircraft, Ozan spoke via telephone in the US. I wasn’t there for his testimony but read the transcript later. He describes how Harry fell against him on impact and that he couldn’t rouse him.

Then the court went out to Jandakot.

Back at Number 10 in the afternoon we listened to the pilot’s statements and cross by the counsel for the coroner. The pilot has a smoker’s voice, not deep but gravelly, like a rumble. He looks old in the witness box and it is hard not to feel some sympathy for him.

He was the last person alive today to see our Harry. Listening to him describe how he left the plane and left Harry was very hard to hear. But I wanted to hear it. I wanted to know every detail of his last minutes. And it WAS shocking. We hadn’t heard or read his testimony before. I cannot tell you how devastating it was.

This is such an exercise in not judging. I sit there and struggle not to judge. I wasn’t there. I don’t know how I would have reacted. I can rationally understand their panic. But deep down, there is a part of me, an irrational part of me perhaps, a part of me I’m not sure I want to own, who wishes they had been more noble and not left my friend behind.

Yesterday Harry’s mum said to me: “It doesn’t matter, I don’t care what they find, what they say – nothing will bring my Harry back.” Those words haunt me today.

Two more things from today: How I wish they would say his last name correctly. There is NO SECOND ‘R’ in his surname!

And one more thing: Apparently Ozan was asked if he had brought any manuals onto the flight with him, and Mike turned round and said : “We didn’t need manuals, we had Harry.”

I’m going south this weekend. If things were different I may have been going down with Harry and his family too. I wish they were different.