Thursday, January 17, 2008


Somebody earned his money today:

A passenger plane has crash-landed short of a runway at Heathrow Airport, ripping off part of its undercarriage.
All 136 passengers and 16 crew escaped from the British Airways flight BA038 from Beijing. Eighteen people have been taken to hospital with minor injuries.
An airport worker told the BBC the pilot on the Boeing 777 had said he had lost all power, and had been forced to glide the plane in to land.

"It's a miracle. The man deserves a medal as big as a frying pan."

Gliding a powerless Boeing in to save 152 lives. Give him a medal as big as a damn tractor wheel. And put him and John Smeaton on the fourth plinth in Trafalgar Square!


Matt M said...

While not exactly the same make of aircraft, this article about a similar incident might provide some insight into how the guy managed to land without power.

Anonymous said...

The Gimli incident is a totally different situation. The Air Canada 767 involved had been fuelled incorrectly, with lbs being used instead of kgs, as such, the 767 had around half the fuel on board that it needed for the journey. The engines flamed out at altitude... Using the on board ram air turbine, enough electricity was produced to supply the systems and the planed was glided into the nearest halfway suitable strip.

In Heathrow yesterday, whatever happened to cause the loss of power and thrust happened so close to the ground that no other measures other than holding the nose up as long as possible before stalling, to avoid buildings and roads on the ground, was possible... The 777 was seconds from touchdown when the incident occurred. There wasn't even time to inform the passengers of the impending crash land...

The pilot did well to avoid coming down earlier and hats off to him for that, excellent job!

Andrew Entwistle