05/18/2012 12:24 pm ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

Olympic Torch Heads To U.K. On British Airways Plane (PHOTO)

Greece handed over the Olympic torch to the U.K. on Friday, which is all fine and good, but how exactly do you get a lit torch on a plane and keep it safe?

British Airways, the official U.K. airline for the 2012 Olympic Games, used their "Firefly" plane to carry dignitaries, famous Brits like David Beckham and the torch back from Athens, according to the BBC.

Who mans the plane carrying the symbol of all the world's hopes inside? British Airways enlisted veteran pilot Captain David Thomas, who has flown the Queen on two royal tours and given Tony Blair a lift to Germany. The captain had already completed a test run in March carrying an unlit lamp.

Still, there are some specific challenges when flying a lit torch inside an airplane.

Thomas told the BBC: "You try to forget about a lot of the external pressure as it's not helpful, when you're flying passengers you are thinking about safety. I've been in that position before, you don't want to get it wrong but I have got a couple of great guys with me. The worst thing for me is I know how good the [TV] cameras are so I'll have to watch what I'm doing at all times."

"It's slightly unusual to be playing with fire on an aeroplane," he added.

The torch will occupy business class seats 1A and 1B on flight 2012, the Guardian reports.

olympic torch

The flame is carried in two specially-made metal cradles and held to the seat with a seat belt and Velcro strap. A Metropolitan Police (London) officer trained in firefighting will sit in seat 1C, watching the torch on the entire 1,5000 mile, according to the BBC. reports that once the torch lands at a naval air station in Cornwall, a Royal Navy plane will fly it to Land's End, the furthest point west in England.

At least it isn't an electronic device.



Olympic Torch Lands