Ludi Marylone Kandalla 1947? – 1972 MB, ChB, LMSSA, MFHom was a homeopath, who was applying for a license to practice in America when she died in the Staines plane crash in 1972. Ludi was House Physician at the Royal London Homeopathic Hospital between 1970-71. Her sister Kawther (Kay) Theresa Kandalla 1945 – 1972 MB, ChB, MRCS, LRCP also died in that terrible crash, and although had started to become interested in homeopathy, she never actually practiced homeopathy, although she apparently prescribed remedies recommended by Ludi.
Homeopaths and homeopathic supporters Isabel Campbell, Dudley Wooton Everitt, Marjorie Golomb, Sergei William Kadleigh, Mary Stevenson, Joan Mackover, John Robertson Raeside, Elizabeth Somerville Stewart and Thomas Fergus Stewart, and Elizabeth Sharp Hawthorn 1918-1972 also died in that fatal crash.
Obituary by Marianne Harling, British Homeopathic Journal – Vol. 61, No. 4 – October 1972 p 251: Ludi and Kay Kandalla were the only children of a prominent Baghdad physician, Dr. F. K. Kandalla, who, not content with what he had learned in his own country, at the Harvard Medical School, and at the Hospital for Tropical Diseases in London, turned in middle life to the study of Homeopathy. What he found so thrilled him that he determined that his daughters should share his work and carry it further, and they both duly studied medicine and qualified at the University of Baghdad. After that, however, they proved to be as independent and inquiring as their father had been, and both decided to learn all they could of Western orthodox medicine before committing themselves to one branch. One after another, to the distress of their parents (but perhaps also to their father’s grudging admiration) they came to England, took their medical Finals again, and settled down to work in this country for several years.
Ludi was the first to feel the pull of Homeopathy. Disillusioned with house-jobs in orthodox hospitals, she came to the Royal London Homeopathic Hospital as House Physician in October 1970, and stayed until May 1971. She will be remembered for many things: her decorative appearance, like some great Assyrian goddess; her spontaneous laughter; her refusal to compromise in any way with what she felt to be incompetence or injustice in staff or colleagues, contrasted with the gentleness and understanding she showed when dealing with patients; her punctual discharge letters to GPs; her considerable early promise as a homeopathic prescriber. She became an Associate of the Faculty of Homeopathy, and gained her Membership in February. She hoped to join a homeopathic general practice.
Obituary by Anita Davies, British Homeopathic Journal Vol. 61, No. 4 – October 1972 p 254: Ludi Kandalla always had her patients’ welfare at heart and loved Homeopathy. In the general practice where she was working when she was killed, there were many patients grateful for her personal interest and friendship, for she referred them to the Royal London Homeopathic Hospital, and they always spoke highly of her, nor could they believe it when they heard she was no longer there to help them.
Obituary by Marianne Harling, British Homeopsthic Journal Vol. 61, No. 4 – October 1972 p 251 Her sister Kay never practiced Homeopathy, though she had begun to show an interest in it, and sometimes gave her patients remedies suggested by Ludi. Kay’s main interest lay in gynaecology, and her ambition was to achieve a higher qualification, practice either in England or in America, and make a home for her parents when they retired. More petite and feminine that her younger sister, she was also more practical and single-minded. There was great affection between them. They had an apparently unlimited capacity for enjoyment, and whilst Ludi was going to the Brussels Congress, presumably, to deepen her contacts with Homeopathy, Kay was going explicitly “for fun”.
The Kandalla sisters were Assyrian Christians, members of an ancient religious group in communion with the Catholic Church which had seen much persecution, and which had had to hold its own for centuries against Islam. They were happy warriors who loved life and loved living dangerously. It would be inappropriate to wish them Eternal Rest. Let us wish them Eternal Joy. We sympathize most deeply with Dr. and Mrs. Kandalla on the loss of their beautiful, vital and talented daughters.
From Llewelyn Ralph Twentyman From his Address at the Memorial held at St George The Martyr on 29-6-72 For citation purposes, publication details;British Homeopathic Journal 1972; 61: 130e133: ‘… LUDI KANDALLA and her sister Kay came from Baghdad, came from the great and mighty race of Assyrians, and when I was there at the end of the war I came to have a deep respect for the grandeur of their race. When Ludi came to the Hospital I could see the same qualities in her, descendant of the mighty Assyrians. You had only to look on the face of her and her sister (Kay) and you can see those same faces in the galleries of the British Museum on those ancient Assyrian reliefs. Lovable, uncompromising, full of vitality and youth, but you do not speak to an Assyrian about compromise, warriors, warriors for what they believe in. This was what was striking and great in the enthusiasm and youth which we learnt to love in Ludi and her sister Kay…’
One hundred and eighteen people were killed last night in the worst air disaster in Britain. They died when a BEA Trident airliner ploughed into waste ground only a few yards from the Staines bypass on the outskirts of Heathrow Airport-London.
There were no survivors when the plane crashed, less than four minutes after taking off for Brussels. Its wheels had been retracted and the plane was climbing when it suddenly dropped, skimming over high-tension power lines and across the tops of cars before crashing on its underside.
The impact broke the plane’s spine, ripping off the tail section and sending it spinning through the air. The fuselage slewed across the muddy field and hit a line of trees on the edge of a reservoir.
The plane had hit an incredibly small space – a field no more than 100 yards wide. The way in which it crashed suggested that it might have lost virtually all power; it came almost straight down, missing houses on either side of the field.
A stall, from which the pilot would need a lot of height to recover even if it were not of the dangerous “deep” variety, would have the same effect….
Thirty four Britons were killed in the crash, including the crew. There were 29 passengers from the United States, 29 Belgians, 12 Irish, four South African, three Canadian, one Thai, two Jamaicans, one Latin American, one Indian, one French Afrique, and one Nigerian. There were between 25 and 30 women passengers, as well as two or three children.
The Department of Trade and Industry said the pilot’s last message to ground control came two minutes after take-off. It said “Up to 60? which the DTI said, “Is quite a normal message.” It means the pilot was climbing to a level of 6,000 feet.”
After the crash, wreckage was scattered for a radius if almost four hundred yards around the shattered fuselage. The hundreds of workers struggling in clinging mud and a steady drizzle to cut their way into the buckled remains of the plane were hampered through the night by hundreds of sight-seers flocking towards the area.
Mr. Cranley Onslow, Parliamentary Under Secretary for Aerospace, who went to the scene, said “callous” sight-seers were hampering the rescue workers. Two hours after the crash, all roads in the area were jammed by traffic.
The Trident, on flight BE 548 and code named G-ARPI, left Heathrow at 5.02pm with 109 passengers and nine crew members. By 5.06pm, it had crashed.
A man who had been driving along the A30 told police: “The plane just came whizzing in, along the road. You could have reached up and touched it.”
Heathrow aircraft control sounded the full scale disaster alert, and all airport emergency appliances, together with all available fire engines, ambulances, and police patrol cars for eight miles around sped to the scene. Nine hospitals in the area prepared to receive casualties, and doctors were brought in for emergency duty. In the event, they were not needed.
As the first teams of firemen reached the wreck site – throughout the night they were to work at considerable personal risk as the aircraft contained tones of highly flammable fuel – they clawed with their hands in desperate attempts to reach the passengers inside. A local doctor who ran to the spot said: “It was ghastly, sickening. A terrible mess.”
As police blocked off surrounding roads, other rescue teams began knocking down fences to enable ambulances to reach the plane. By 7pm, 70 bodies had been lifted from the fuselage and laid in long rows along the ground.
Long lines of rescuers formed in the steady drizzle, passing the broken bodies of the victims gently from the shattered fuselage to the ambulances. A number of the rescuers, police and firemen, were crying. One policeman said a small girl died in his arms as he carried her towards an ambulance.
One man was taken out of the wreckage with head injuries but died in hospital. He is understood to be Mr Melville Miller, managing director of Rowntree Mackintosh (Ireland) Limited.
A mobile crane was brought into the field to lift parts of the wreckage away; the rescuers could not use oxyacetylene cutters because of the risk of an explosion. Relays of ambulances began taking the bodies to the special mortuary.
Mr Michael Stephens, of Staines, said he was cycling along a road near by “When I looked up and saw the tail of a plane bounce into the air … then the rest of the plane burst into flames.” The fire was an isolated electrical fault and was quickly put out.
Miss Christine Wallis said she was walking past the reservoir with friends when “bits of metal began flying around us … the plane split up as it tore along the ground.”
Last night teams of investigators from the Department of Trade and Industry and the British Airline Pilots’ Association arrived at the scene to find out the contents of the flight recorders.
The same plane was involved in a collision in July 1968, at Heathrow. It was stationary at one of the terminal piers when a freighter jet carrying horses got out of control and crashed into its side. Five people were killed in the freighter. The Trident’s tail was torn off.
The experienced 51 year-old Captain Key certainly knew better than to retract the slats at this stage of the flight. Investigators later proved that it was intentional and not a mechanical problem with the equipment involved. So why did he do it? And why didn’t Second Officer Keighley or S/O Ticehurst override the captain’s fatal decision?
Without a cockpit voice recorder (CVR), which were not required in Britain at the time, we will never know for sure. The Air Accidents Investigation Board (AAIB) concluded that Second Officer Keighley was too inexperienced and that Ticehurst was preoccupied with the passenger in the cockpit (another BEA captain on a return flight).
Two seconds after the droops were retracted, the stick pusher stall recovery device operated, causing the autopilot to automatically disengage and the nose of the aircraft to pitch down. At that moment, the stall recovery system was manually inhibited by one of the pilots.
The aircraft then pitched up rapidly, losing speed and height, entering a true aerodynamic stall and then a deep stall from which no recovery was possible. Impact occurred 20 seconds later. An autopsy on the captain suggested that he had probably had a heart attack during the short flight.