Wiki Actu en

February 10, 2010

Final report blames London passenger jet crash on ice

Filed under: BA Flight 38,British Airways — admin @ 5:00 am

Final report blames London passenger jet crash on ice

From Wikinews, the free news source you can write!
Jump to: navigation, search

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

A photograph of the wreckage of flight BA 38 following the aircraft’s evacuation.
Image: Marc-Antony Payne.

The United Kingdom’s Air Accidents Investigation Board (AAIB) yesterday blamed a release of ice in the fuel system of a British Airways passenger jet as the cause of a crash two years ago at London’s Heathrow Airport. from China was attempting to land when both engines lost almost all power – a condition called “rollback”.

The exact phenomenon had never been previously identified, but it not only affected the British Airways jet two years ago but also a Delta Airlines jet above the United States later the same year. Both were Boeing 777 aircraft. That incident prompted the AAIB to collaborate with the US National Transportation Safety Board.

BA 38 was approximately 43 seconds from touchdown when it experienced a dual engine rollback that was beyond the control of the flight crew. Captain Peter Burkill and co-pilot John Coward were later hailed as heroes for performing a successful crash landing 330 metres from the runway. The plane avoided nearby buildings and a road, leaving the landing gear deployed to act as shock absorbers.

The jet slid 372 metres after the crash, but all 136 passengers evacuated alive. 36 passengers and twelve crewmembers were injured, mostly suffering whiplash and one incurring a broken leg. The report concluded there was no time to alert the cabin crew or passengers to the situation developing in the cockpit.

A photograph showing ice buildup on the component in question, during testing.
Image: US NTSB.

The engine rollback was caused by ice forming in the fuel system; the ice came from water molecules existing as impurities in the fuel, and lined the fuel system. When extra fuel was pumped through to supply the engines for landing manoeuvres, the ice was dislodged.

It is believed to have then settled on a component called the fuel-oil heat exchanger, a dual-purpose component that runs oil pipes through the fuel system. The idea is to cool down hot oil and keep fuel warm to prevent freezing. As the result of previous safety recommendations from both the UK and US investigators Boeing and engine company Rolls-Royce have worked to redesign the part.

Every component of the aircraft complied with all relevant airworthiness standards, and the fuel also complied with the standards applying to it. Although ice problems have been known since the 1950s, sudden release problems were unheard of before the crash. The testing conducted as part of the investigation is thought to be unique and the aircraft experienced unusually low temperatures during the flight.

A total of eighteen safety recommendations have been issued, of which nine came from an interim report and nine are new. Some of these apply to aircraft “crashworthiness” – the ability to withstand impact forces.



Related news

  • “US, UK investigators seek 777 engine redesign to stop repeat of London jet crash” — Wikinews, March 14, 2009

Sources

Wikipedia
Wikipedia has more about this subject:
British Airways Flight 38

External links

Bookmark-new.svg


This text comes from Wikinews. Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 2.5 licence. For a complete list of contributors for this article, visit the corresponding history entry on Wikinews.

November 20, 2009

UK lawyer comments on court case against Boeing over London jet crash

UK lawyer comments on court case against Boeing over London jet crash

From Wikinews, the free news source you can write!
Jump to: navigation, search

Friday, November 20, 2009

The scene of the crash
Image: Marc-Antony Payne.

On Thursday, ten of those on board British Airways Flight 38 launched a case against Boeing over the accident before a court in Illinois. They are suing over an alleged flawed design that allowed an ice buildup to bring the 777 jet down at London’s Heathrow Airport. Scottish advocate Peter Macdonald spoke to Wikinews, commenting on the case and explaining the surrounding legislation. He has experience of litigating aviation accidents.

Although investigations are ongoing, the United Kingdom’s Air Accidents Investigation Branch (AAIB) has issued interim reports indicating ice buildup on an engine component. As the jet passed over Siberia on its journey from Beijing, China it encountered significantly reduced temperatures. The AAIB has determined that the fuel was at a temperature below 0°C for an unusually long duration. This is believed to have caused water in the fuel — which met all relevant international standards — to have frozen into crystals.

A build-up of ice developed on a component called the fuel/oil heat exchanger. This restricted the flow of fuel to the engine, resulting in an “uncommanded engine rollback” — a loss of power — on approach for landing. Investigators initially struggled to produce enough ice under test conditions but later discovered that at high concentration, fuel can form ice at very low temperatures in enough quantity to seriously restrict fuel flow. This does not occur when fuel demand is lower, as the hot oil then becomes sufficient to entirely melt the ice. It was only when extra fuel was pumped in from the tanks for the landing that the crystals became a problem. The fuel/oil heat exchanger is a dual purpose part designed to simultaneously melt fuel ice and cool down engine oil by passing oil pipes through the fuel flow.

Cquote1.svg If I am correct that it is a product liability suit, then the fact that this is the first such accident matters not Cquote2.svg

—Scots lawyer Peter Macdonald

The crew of the aircraft were praised for their handling of the emergency, avoiding the airport’s perimeter fence and nearby houses to crash land short of the runway. None of the 136 passengers and 16 crew were killed but some of those suffered serious injuries, including broken bones and facial injuries. Some were left unable to fly and there were cases of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).

The crash was triggered by highly unusual circumstances; the first AAIB report noted that cold fuel behaving in this manner was an “apparently hitherto unknown phenomenon.” As part of the investigation, data of 141,000 flights of 777s equipped with the engine model involved — the Rolls-Royce Trent 800 — was reviewed without finding any relevant circumstance similar to the accident flight, although there was later a similar incident in the United States in which the aircraft continued safely after repowering one engine; the second did not lose power.

Given the circumstances surrounding the case, Wikinews asked Peter Macdonald if the plaintiffs intended to prove that Boeing knew or should have known the Rolls-Royce powerplant was dangerously defective by design. “I rather suspect that there may be product liability legislation in place in whichever US jurisdiction is being used,” Macdonald explained. “Such statutes normally do not require proof of fault, nor do they require proof of knowledge. All that you have to show is that there was a defect in the product which caused the losses concerned… If I am correct that it is a product liability suit, then the fact that this is the first such accident matters not.”

Cquote1.svg [Rolls-Royce] would be liable for a defect in terms of the Consumer Protection Act 1987 Cquote2.svg

—Peter Macdonald

Macdonald went on to discuss the international legislation and how it interacts to the plaintiffs and the three companies involved — Boeing, British Airways and Rolls-Royce. Only Boeing is currently named in an action over the case. “There are several reasons why the plaintiffs will wish to sue Boeing in the States,” he said. “Were the plaintiffs to seek redress in a court in the United Kingdom, it is unlikely that the relevant part of Boeing would be subject to jurisdiction here.” He also pointed out that “US damages are generally higher than English damages.”

“As to whether Boeing should settle, that all depends upon the basis of the action. If it is a fault [negligence] based action, they will be able to defend it. If fault is not needed, that is why they would want the action dismissed, forcing litigation in the UK.” In the UK, a product liability suit “would ordinarily be directed against the importers, i.e. British Airways… It would be a simple matter to sue BA here [the UK] for the physical injuries and their financial consequences,” said Macdonald. “That leaves RR [Rolls-Royce]. I assume that the engine was made in the UK. They would be liable for a defect in terms of the Consumer Protection Act 1987, Part I.” This piece of UK-wide legislation states that “where any damage is caused wholly or partly by a defect in a product [the manufacturer] shall be liable for the damage.” Damage includes injuries.

This picture from the investigation demonstrates the effects of ice buildup on the part in question

US courts decide international jurisdictional issues under the Jones Act, passed as a result of Bhopal litigation, “which makes it much more difficult for a foreigner to sue in the US if the accident did not happen there… My restricted understanding of that is that it is likely that it would be difficult to remove an action from a US court where the aircraft was made in the US.” He further pointed out that the court would require there to be an alternative court with jurisdiction over the issue. “It may well be that the relevant part of the Boeing group is not subject to the jurisdiction of the English courts… I have seen cases where it was made a condition of the grant of an order under the Jones Act that the defendants would submit to the jurisdiction of a court in Scotland and that they would not take a plea of time bar in the even that an action was raised within three months of the court order.”

He then addressed the international law with regards to what could be claimed for against air carriers such as BA. In a previous case against the same airline, Abnett v British Airways, the House of Lords ruled in 1997 “that the only remedy for an injured passenger on an international flight is to sue under the Warsaw Convention, Article 17, incorporated into our law by the Carriage by Air Act, 1961.” The Warsaw Convention governs liability for international commercial airlines. At the time, the House of Lords was the highest court of appeal in the UK, although it was recently replaced by the Supreme Court. The Abnett case referred to British Airways Flight 149, in which Iraq captured the aircraft and occupants when it landed in Kuwait hours after Iraq invaded in 1990. Peter Macdonald represented Abnett in this case.

The Convention “provides a remedy for “bodily injury”. Interestingly, the term only appeared in the final draft of the Warsaw Convention. There is no mention of the term in the minutes of the many sessions which lead up to the final draft. It was produced overnight and signed later that day.” This term creates difficulties in claiming for mental problems such as the fear of flying or PTSD, although Macdonald points out that “there is a large amount of medical literature which details physical and chemical changes in the brains of people who are suffering from PTSD.”

In King v Bristow Helicopters, heard before the House of Lords in 2002 “held that PTSD was not a “bodily injury”, but expressly left the door open for someone to try to prove that what is known as PTSD is the manifestation of physical changes in the brain which have been brought about by the trauma. Such a litigation is pending in Scotland.” Macdonald is acting in this case.

Actions against Boeing are not bound in this way, as the Warsaw Convention only applies to airlines, making the States an attractive place to sue due to the issues with demonstrating jurisdiction against the relevant part of the Boeing group in the UK. Another reason why the plaintiffs would prefer to sue in America is that in the UK “there would be liability [for BA], and that would be subject to a damages cap. An action in the US [against any defendant] would probably have the same cap, but is likely to award damages more generously in the event that the cap is not reached.”



Related news

Sources

Wikinews
This article features first-hand journalism by Wikinews members. See the collaboration page for more details.
Bookmark-new.svg


This text comes from Wikinews. Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 2.5 licence. For a complete list of contributors for this article, visit the corresponding history entry on Wikinews.

Victims of London jetliner crash sue Boeing

Victims of London jetliner crash sue Boeing

From Wikinews, the free news source you can write!
Jump to: navigation, search

Friday, November 20, 2009

Aviation

Concorde.planview.arp.jpg
Related articles
Collaborate!
  • Pillars of Wikinews writing
  • Writing an article

Firefighters work around the wreckage in the aftermath of the crash

Ten passengers on board a British Airways jet that crashed in London’s Heathrow Airport are suing the manufacturer of the aircraft. Documents filed before a court in Chicago, Illinois claim that Boeing were responsible for design flaws with the fuel system.

The Boeing 777 crash-landed early in 2008 after engine power was lost on final approach, coming down short of the runway. The aircraft was severely damaged. The United Kingdom’s Air Accidents Investigation Branch is still investigating, but interim reports have indicated that engine components became clogged with ice developing in the fuel.

The crew of the aircraft were praised for their handling of the emergency, avoiding the perimeter fence and nearby houses. None of the 136 passengers and 16 crew were killed but some of those suffered serious injuries, including broken bones and facial injuries. Some were left unable to fly and there were cases of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.

This picture from the investigation demonstrates the effects of ice buildup

The case, run by London firm Stewarts Law, is that Boeing are liable for the design of the engine component upon which the ice settled during the accident. “Our clients are not critical of BA and feel that the pilots performed heroically in guiding the aircraft down in exceptionally difficult circumstances,” said the partner in charge of the case, Stuart Dench. “However the two interim reports from the Air Accident Investigation Branch suggest design defects in the aircraft’s fuel system and in particular its limitations in the prevention of dangerous ice build-up. The passengers we represent are therefore prepared to take on Boeing in its home court in Chicago, which is undoubtedly the most appropriate jurisdiction for this case.”

Boeing may seek to have the case heard in London before the High Court. If successful, the claimants are estimated by the media to be able to claim US$1 million (£600,000).



Sources

Bookmark-new.svg


This text comes from Wikinews. Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 2.5 licence. For a complete list of contributors for this article, visit the corresponding history entry on Wikinews.

March 14, 2009

US, UK investigators seek 777 engine redesign to stop repeat of London jet crash

US, UK investigators seek 777 engine redesign to stop repeat of London jet crash

From Wikinews, the free news source you can write!
Jump to: navigation, search

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Aviation

Concorde.planview.arp.jpg
Related articles
Collaborate!
  • Pillars of Wikinews writing
  • Writing an article

Ice on the fuel/oil heat exchanger of a Trent 800 engine during testing as part of the investigation

Investigators with the National Transportation Safety Board in the United States have issued an ‘urgent safety recommendation’ in connection to their role alongside the United Kingdom’s Air Accidents Investigation Branch in investigating loss of power in Rolls-Royce engines on Boeing 777s, with the AAIB following suit. One of them resulted in British Airways Flight 38 crashing short of the runway at London’s Heathrow Airport last year. The NTSB and the AAIB want Rolls-Royce to redesign the engines.

Both events occurred on Boeing 777-200ER airplanes powered by Rolls-Royce RB211 Trent 800 Series engines. On January 17, 2008 British Airways Flight 38 experienced a dual engine rollback (reduction of engine power) on final approach to Heathrow and crashed, leaving one passenger seriously injured, eight passengers and four of the flight crew with minor injuries and the airplane written off.

The second event occurred on November 26, 2008, when a Delta Air Lines Boeing 777 experienced a single engine rollback during cruise flight over Montana, United States while en route from Shanghai to Atlanta. Normal operations resumed after the flight crew followed Boeing’s published procedure to recover engine performance and the airplane landed safely in Atlanta.

Boeing has already developed new procedures after the crash to prevent ice from building up within their 777 fuel systems after it became apparent that icing may have been a factor, and it was some of these that the Delta flight crew had followed. Boeing modified these further after the Delta incident. As part of the recent releases by the NTSB and AAIB it has become apparent that investigators from both bodies, which are collaborating, have found ice buildup in the fuel system caused both rollbacks.

In both cases a build-up of ice (from water normally present in all jet fuel) developed on a component called the fuel/oil heat exchanger. This restricted the flow of fuel to the engine, resulting in the uncommanded engine rollback. Investigators initially struggled to produce enough ice under test conditions but have now found that at high concentration, fuel can form ice at very low temperatures in enough quantity to seriously restrict fuel flow, according to a new interim report by the AAIB. This does not occur when fuel demand is lower, as the hot oil then becomes sufficient to entirely melt the ice. The British jet experienced very low temperatures over Siberia.

The wreckage of the British Airways jetliner

The vigorous tests are thought to be the first of their kind. They have also confirmed that while ice may have formed elsewhere in the airliner’s fuel system fuel was probably not restricted at any other location. Instead, it is thought ‘soft’ ice formed in the pipes and then broke off, travelling to the fuel/oil heat exchanger and restricting it.

The NTSB has now revealed that they have advised Rolls-Royce to redesign the fuel/oil heat exchanger, and Rolls-Royce have stated that they are indeed working on a replacement part that will be available within twelve months. The AAIB advised Boeing and Rolls-Royce to jointly review the problem across the fuel system, and both companies responded that they ‘accepted’ this recommendation and repeated that a replacement part was being developed.

Both the NTSB and the AAIB also sent letters to the US Federal Aviation Administration and the European Aviation Safety Agency requesting the installment of the modified component be mandatory. The NTSB suggested this should be either the next maintenance check or within six months. There are 220 Boeing 777-200s – the only type using the affected engine – with Trent 800 series engines.

The fuel/oil heat exchanger is a dual purpose part designed to simultaneously melt fuel ice and cool down engine oil.

The AAIB further noted that it is unclear weather other aircraft designs are at risk, and advised the FAA and EASA to look into increased use of de-icing additives and investigate both the accumulation and sudden movement of ice in aircraft fuel systems and the actual formation of ice in the fuel itself.



Related news

Sources

Wikinews
This article is a featured article. It is considered one of the best works of the Wikinews community. See Wikinews:Featured articles for more information.
Bookmark-new.svg


This text comes from Wikinews. Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 2.5 licence. For a complete list of contributors for this article, visit the corresponding history entry on Wikinews.

December 18, 2008

US, UK investigators collaborating after US 777 incident similar to London crash

US, UK investigators collaborating after US 777 incident similar to London crash

From Wikinews, the free news source you can write!
Jump to: navigation, search

Thursday, December 18, 2008

The scene of the British Airways 777 crash. Is the recent power loss on a 777 in the US linked?

The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) of the United States and the Air Accidents Investigation Branch (AAIB) in the United Kingdom are working together ‘closely’ after a Delta Air Lines Boeing 777 in the US suffered an engine power incident. The event has similarities to the crash of British Airways Flight 38 in January at London’s Heathrow Airport.

The AAIB and the NTSB are now collaborating to try and determine whether or not the two events are in fact linked. On November 26 a Delta 777-200ER cruising at 39,000 feet near Great Falls suffered a serious reduction in power on the right-hand (number 2) engine without input from either the flight crew or the aircraft’s control systems. The pilots lowered the jetliner to 31,000 feet in accordance with procedures in the flight manuals and regained full power in the engine.

From that point on, the engine behaved normally again. The flight, Flight 18 from Shanghai, continued to its destination of Atlanta.

Investigators have noticed similarities to the January crash of a British Airways jet in London. Flight 38, another 777, suffered this same uncommanded loss of engine thrust in both engines during final approach to Heathrow on January 17, and crashed short of the runway. There were no fatalities, although several passengers were injured. The aircraft was written off.

An interim report by the AAIB, which is leading the investigation into the crash of Flight 38, has suggested that an ice buildup during the trip from China in the fuel supply caused the accident. As a result, Boeing recommended pilots of such aircraft occasionally rev up their engines on lengthy flights to stop ice from building up.

Both airliners were equipped with twin Rolls-Royce Trent 895 engines. The NTSB appointed Senior Air Safety Investigator Bill English as the accredited representative of the US to the AAIB on the London crash. Now, he has also been put in charge of the NTSB investigation into the Delta midair incident. The two investigative bodies are now working with each other to try to identify whether there are common circumstances behind both events.

Among the parties to the investigation are Eaton-Argotech. The firm manufactures fuel systems for commercial airliners, amongst other users. Also participating are the US Federal Aviation Administration, Boeing, Delta, and the Air Line Pilots Association.



Sources

Bookmark-new.svg


This text comes from Wikinews. Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 2.5 licence. For a complete list of contributors for this article, visit the corresponding history entry on Wikinews.

September 6, 2008

Interim report blames ice for British Airways 777 crash in London

Interim report blames ice for British Airways 777 crash in London

From Wikinews, the free news source you can write!
Jump to: navigation, search

Saturday, September 6, 2008

The scene of the crash
Image: Marc-Antony Payne.

Aviation

Kitty hawk gross.jpg
Related articles
Collaborate!
  • Pillars of Wikinews writing
  • Writing an article

The United Kingdom’s Air Accidents Investigation Branch (AAIB) has released an interim report into the crash of British Airways Flight 38. The Boeing 777-ER crashed early this year as it tried to land at London’s Heathrow Airport.

The report states that the AAIB believes the crash occurred when ice crystals formed within the fuel system. However, it should be noted that the report only serves as an update into the progress of the investigation and that the final report is yet to be published and may yet reach a different conclusion into the cause of the accident.

The flight from Beijing, China had been normal until final approach at Heathrow, at which point the aircraft was coming in for landing with the autopilot and autothrottle engaged. However, engine power became greatly reduced when the autothrottle requested more thrust, and the aircraft made a forced landing 1,000 feet from the runway. The aircraft suffered substantial damage as it slid across the grass to the runway threshold, where it came to rest, and was written off. There was only one serious injury and eight minor ones to the 136 passengers and 16 crew.

As the jet passed over Siberia it encountered significantly reduced temperatures. The AAIB has determined that the fuel was at a temperature below 0°C for an unusually long duration. This is believed to have caused water in the fuel – which met all relevant international standards – to have frozen into crystals. These were able to form undetected as the aircraft cruised with a low fuel requirement, and it was only when extra fuel was pumped in from the tanks for the landing that the crystals became a problem.

The report says that the current explanation being offered for the accident is an “apparently hitherto unknown phenomenon” and warns that other combinations of aircraft models and engines may also be vulnerable. The 777 involved was powered by Rolls-Royce Trent 800s, like 222 of the 736 777s currently operating. Data from 141,000 other flights of such aircraft has not yielded any other set of circumstances similar to the one in the crash flight.

In light of these results, a worldwide alert has been issued to the 11 airlines that between them operate all the aircraft identical to the lost jet. Boeing have instructed airlines to vary altitude regularly when fuel is below 10°C and to run the engines at max power for ten seconds before attempting a landing if the fuel has been at such temperatures for over three hours. The extra power is intended to clear out any buildup of water. To prevent buildup of water during ground operation at freezing temperatures all fuel pumps should be run at full power for one minute.

Air New Zealand have already confirmed they will introduce the new measures, and United States authorities are expected to make them mandatory within days. The affected aircraft are operated by US carriers American Airlines and Delta Air Lines.



Sources

External links

Bookmark-new.svg


This text comes from Wikinews. Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 2.5 licence. For a complete list of contributors for this article, visit the corresponding history entry on Wikinews.

July 10, 2008

British Airways give medals to Flight 38\’s crew

British Airways give medals to Flight 38’s crew

From Wikinews, the free news source you can write!
Jump to: navigation, search

Thursday, July 10, 2008

The airliner after the accident
Image: Marc-Antony Payne .

The three members of the flight crew and thirteen members of British Airways Flight 38 have been awarded with the BA Safety Medal. The airline considers the award to be its highest accolade and has only awarded it three times before.

On January 17 the Boeing 777 airliner was on final approach to Heathrow Airport with 136 passengers on board when it suffered a loss of engine power. The plane crash landed immediately beyond the perimeter fence, just before the start of the runway.

British Airways say that due to the crew’s professionalism only minor injuries were sustained. The medals have been awarded for their handling of the accident.

Captain Peter Burkill, who was on board, said “It is a great privilege for us to receive the BA Safety Medal. We are extremely honoured to be added to the list of the very few people who have received this award. The training we undergo at British Airways is second to none. During the events of the 17 January these skills kicked in, as we did everything we could to ensure the safety of our passengers.”



Sources

Bookmark-new.svg


This text comes from Wikinews. Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 2.5 licence. For a complete list of contributors for this article, visit the corresponding history entry on Wikinews.

January 26, 2008

British Airways Flight 38 investigation focuses on fuel system

British Airways Flight 38 investigation focuses on fuel system

From Wikinews, the free news source you can write!
Jump to: navigation, search

Saturday, January 26, 2008

The wreckage of the aircraft
Image: Marc-Antony Payne.

Investigators examining the wreck of British Airways Flight 38, a Boeing 777 that crash landed short of the runway at London’s Heathrow Airport in the first hull loss of a 777, are examining the aircraft’s fuel system as a possible factor in the crash. No-one was killed as the scheduled flight from Beijing, China lost power during final approach on January 17.

136 passengers and 16 crew were on board when power was lost to the two Rolls-Royce engines about two miles from the runway, at a height of 600 feet. Autopilot and autothrottle were engaged at the time, the latter having just commanded an increase of thrust to the engines when power was lost. Co-pilot John Coward, in control at the time, was subsequently praised for being able to glide the disabled plane to within 1,000 feet of the runway, clearing a number of houses along the way.

Subsequent investigation has revealed that not only did the engines not fail simultaneously, but neither failed completely, contradicting initial belief. A preliminary report by the United Kingdom’s Aircraft Accident Investigation Branch (AAIB) stated that after the autothrottle commanded more thrust “The engines both initially responded but after about 3 seconds the thrust of the right engine reduced. Some eight seconds later the thrust reduced on the left engine to a similar level… Both engines continued to produce thrust at an engine speed above flight idle, but less than the commanded thrust.” This situation prevailed until impact.

A map showing the location of the plane (blue dot) after landing and sliding through the field on the runway safety area – route marked in red.
Image: Markie/Open Street Map .

On Wednesday the AAIB stated that they were examining “All possible scenarios that could explain the thrust reduction and continued lack of response of the engines.” However, it also went on to specifically mention attention to the jet’s fuel system, saying “This work includes a detailed analysis and examination of the complete fuel-flow path from the aircraft tanks to the engine-fuel nozzles.” The AAIB also ruled out the plane having completely run out of fuel, stating that there was “adequate fuel” in the tanks when the plane crashed. In addition to the fuel required to get to the target destination or emergency alternative airport – whichever is further – aircraft typically carry between thirty and forty-five minutes worth of extra fuel as a safety margin.

Possible scenarios being examined include fuel contamination, coming either from fuel taken on at Beijing or leakage from an unknown source. In particular, a heavy contaminant at the bottom of the tanks would explain a lack of earlier problems on the flight, as the fuel levels would only have become low in the final stages of the trip. Another possibility is that a central part of the fuel system developed a leak, reducing the amount of fuel available to the engines.

It is known that, according to the AAIB, “the autothrottle and engine-control commands were performing as expected prior to, and after, the reduction in thrust,” suggesting that all software in the aircraft was functioning correctly and rendering a software failure unlikely, although this possibility also remains under investigation.



Related stories

  • “Co-pilot steered stricken Heathrow jet to safety” — Wikinews, January 20, 2008
  • “British Airways flight lands short of runway at London Heathrow Airport” — Wikinews, January 17, 2008

Sources

Bookmark-new.svg


This text comes from Wikinews. Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 2.5 licence. For a complete list of contributors for this article, visit the corresponding history entry on Wikinews.

January 20, 2008

Co-pilot steered stricken Heathrow jet to safety

Co-pilot steered stricken Heathrow jet to safety

From Wikinews, the free news source you can write!
Jump to: navigation, search

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Senior first officer John Coward feared everyone on board British Airways Flight BA38 was going to die in a “catastrophic crash”, the Sunday Mirror reports. Coward landed the Boeing 777, registration G-YMMM, by putting it down with a “series of thuds as it bounced along the grass” 400 metres short of the runway threshold, and just within Heathrow’s perimeter fence at Hatton Cross last Thursday. All on board survived.

Speaking from his family home in France last night he said “As the final approach started I became aware that there was no power. Suddenly there was nothing from any of the engines, and the plane started to glide.” This “total loss of power and avionics” occurred at a height of 600ft above Hounslow, two nautical miles from touchdown and within one minute’s flying time of the airport. He added: “I didn’t think we’d clear the fence at first. As we landed I was bracing myself for an enormous thud. But instead of one thud, there was a series of thuds as it bounced along the grass. Eventually it shuddered to a halt. While I was trying to stop the plane, I struggled to try and keep it in a straight line.”

Co-pilot Coward was under the command of Captain Peter Burkill, who said Mr Coward had done a “most remarkable job” in landing the aircraft and praised him and all his crew for showing “the highest standards of skill and professionalism”.

All 136 passengers and 16 crew on board escaped – 18 of the passengers needed treatment including one with a broken leg – there were no fatalities. The plane was removed from the end of runway 27L during the afternoon of Sunday 20th January.

Members of the Air Accident Investigation Branch (AAIB) have been working on G-YMMM (built in 2001 and one of 43 in the British Airways fleet) continuously since the crash-landing to determine the cause of the failure.



Related news

Sources

External links

  • Daily Mail David Spalton’s photos – Caught on camera: Last moments of Flight BA38’s dramatic descent into Heathrow
  • BBC Online David Spalton’s account: Plane passengers ‘touched by God’
  • BBC Photos



Bookmark-new.svg

This text comes from Wikinews. Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 2.5 licence. For a complete list of contributors for this article, visit the corresponding history entry on Wikinews.

January 17, 2008

British Airways flight lands short of runway at London Heathrow Airport

British Airways flight lands short of runway at London Heathrow Airport

From Wikinews, the free news source you can write!
Jump to: navigation, search

Thursday, January 17, 2008

 
This story has updates
 
See Co-pilot steered stricken Heathrow jet to safety
 

The scene of the crash
Image: Marc-Antony Payne.

A British Airways flight from Beijing to London with 152 people on board has landed short of the runway at Heathow airport near London. One hundred and thirty six passengers and sixteen crew have been evacuated from the plane and thirteen people are reported to have sustained minor injuries.

Reports suggest that the cause of the incident was a “total loss of power and avionics” in the plane, meaning that the pilot had to glide the plane towards the runway area.

Flight BA038 from Beijing to Heathrow, a twin-engined Boeing 777-236ER, carried out an emergency landing at Heathrow Airport 12.42 p.m. local time, according to a Heathrow airport statement.

The incident has delayed the flight carrying UK Prime Minister Gordon Brown, who is flying to Beijing today on a visit to China and India.

A map showing the location of the plane (Blue dot) after landing and sliding through the field on the route marked in red.
Image: OpenStreetMap.

Witnesses said the plane flew low on its approach, touched down on grass short of the runway and came to a halt on its belly at the edge of the runway. Passengers were quickly evacuated by emergency chutes as emergency vehicles surrounded the plane. The plane’s undercarriage broke off during the landing and both wings as well as the starboard engine are badly damaged.

In a press statement, BA said it is “very proud” of the way its staff – three flight crew and thirteen cabin crew – safely evacuated passengers with only six minor injuries resulting.

The southern runway has been closed for operations and has resulted in all European short haul flights from Terminals 1, 2 and 3 being cancelled. Passengers travelling by Heathrow have been advised to check their flight status before arriving at the airport.

Exquisite-Modem.png
British Airways helpline
UK: 0800 389 4193
Int’l: +0044 191 211 3690



Sources

External links

Bookmark-new.svg


This text comes from Wikinews. Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 2.5 licence. For a complete list of contributors for this article, visit the corresponding history entry on Wikinews.

Powered by WordPress