Urban explorer visits deserted British Airways training center at Cranebank near London Heathrow

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Urban explorer Luke B. (LSUrbex Exploration) was able to sneak into the old British Airways (BA) training facility at Cranebank next to London Heathrow airport, United Kingdom. For 60 years, the facility was used to train crews. Training was moved out of the facility to a new structure several years ago, and the discovery of asbestos meant that it was considered too costly to redevelop.

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History

The building was constructed the original office blocks at the site in the 50s, whilst everything else was added from them during 60 years of use. British Airways operated a training facility at Cranebank beside London Heathrow airport for many years.

Students would be taught the insides and outs of air life across the whole campus, through theory teaching and practical methods, using motion simulator equipment and converted Boeing planes with dummies. Training was moved out of the facility to a new structure several years ago, and the discovery of asbestos meant that it was considered too costly to redevelop.

Many things inside that were deemed of no value were left in situ, which included a flight simulator, cabin trainers and more. In the years since, the building and contents has deteriorated markedly as well as suffering from copper wiring theft that has destroyed most corridors and rooms.

Cranebank once offered a course which allowed passengers to experience a simulated aircraft emergency situation.

The half-day Flight Safety Awareness Course in London took place inside the facility’s Boeing 737 cabin simulator and cost £135.

As well as a smoke-filled cabin and passengers screams, crew would shout the emergency ‘brace! Brace!’ as participants adopted the position, readying them for an incident in the air.

The Flight Safety Awareness Course was originally designed for the petrochemical industry who fly their staff to wherever oil and gas is located in the world.

Since its inception in 2003, more than 15,000 people took part in the course.
Cranebank has not been used by British Airways for more than five years, and the land is designated for industrial use.

The airline now runs seminars, workshops and training at the British Airways Global Learning Academy at London Heathrow.

The new centre has a fleet of £10million full-motion flight simulators.

Copyright Facebook: LSUrbex Exploration
Copyright Facebook: LSUrbex Exploration
Copyright Facebook: LSUrbex Exploration

Explore

I’ve been meaning to go to BA for the past couple of years but past talks have told me not to go because security is really tight and multiple people have been arrested.
But of recent talks.. I was told security are friendly, so I got in the car and made my way to BA!

We parked up in the closest possible parking spot and walked through the park and into the woods, the outside gate had been masked with multiple fences and spots sealed from urban explorers getting in as the security are really trying to keep people out, I was told where the easiest access point was and found it with ease, we clambered in through the tight spot and got in, it was vast!

Maybe close to 20 buildings have been left abandoned to rot and decay, we first made it into the out building where I thought the BA planes may be but I was wrong, we looked around the building for a good hour or two just to find the planes while taking multiple pictures on the way, unbelievable that a multi billionaire company has left the building to decay like this.

With a little help from a couple of friends, they told me where the planes were, so we made our way to them, we laughed as we walked past the planes more than once without realising, we were in, it was amazing, definitely different to any other explore I’ve done in the past and pictures don’t really do the Facility and justice.

On our second visit we ventured further and tried to explore what we hadn’t on the first visit, we bumped into Discover.re and another group, we talked about past experiences and urban exploring for 20mins or so.. they asked us where the planes might be so we toured them to the planes, time suddenly passed by and it was dark, so unfortunate we didn’t get to explore certain parts we came back for but I will be going back soon! This place is incredible and one to keep in the back of my mind.

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