The sight 99 passengers were privileged to see on British Airways flight 1-11 over St Peter's Bridge will never be repeated.
Their view of the new bridge bustling with carnival fun on Sunday June 30, 1985, was one of delight as the passengers sipped Champagne.
With meticulous timing, the plane – GB-GKF County of Warwickshire – which had taken off from Birmingham International Airport shortly before 2pm came into sight just as the opening ceremony of the bridge carnival was taking place.
The route had been past Lichfield, Alrewas and Barton under Needwood following the A38. Passengers were fortunate in that low cloud over Birmingham had been left behind and when the environs of Burton were reached, the sky was bright and the downwards view perfect.
Pilot Phil Kirkham maintained a running commentary so that everyone on board knew exactly where he or she was and could easily identify the landmarks. Plainly seen were the hundreds of upwards-looking faces and most impressive was the panoramic view of the whole length of the bridge and embankment and its setting in the Trent Valley.
The plane crossed the scene twice, banking each time so that passengers on the right and then on the left could have a good view of the scene.
With the main objective of the flight over, the plane headed northwards towards the Liverpool area but unfortunately cloud prevented further viewing. Yet there was no feeling of having been let down for British Airways had prepared for any contingency and light refreshments were soon being served.
The whole outing was in fact far more local than most of the passengers realised. One of the stewardesses was Julie Stradling, a former pupil at Burton Girls' High School and daughter of Doug Stradling – former production manager at the Burton Mail – who had helped organise the flight.
Unbeknown to many at the time, Julie was set to marry pilot Phil Kirkham in the coming months.
Also assisting in making the flight a success were the co-pilot Nick Feakes and stewardesses Denny Finlay and Sally Booker.
Passengers on the flight received a certificate from British Airways to add to their crossing certificates.