Thursday, January 17, 2008

Heathrow Airport, 17-01-08

BBC reports: [edited]

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 Boeing 777 pilot, named later as Peter Burkill, 43, said he had lost all power and had to glide the plane in to land.

The worker also said the pilot had told him all the electronics had also failed. "He said he had no warning - it just went," the worker added. "It's a miracle. The man deserves a medal as big as a frying pan."

Fire crews doused the plane in foam to prevent its fuel tanks catching fire.

Aviation expert Kieran Daly, from Flight International magazine, said not a single Boeing 777 had been lost in a crash since the aircraft was launched in 1995.

"This is a near miracle that neither passengers or anyone on the ground has been seriously injured," Mr McDonnell said.

The plane involved is one of 43 Boeing 777s in BA's fleet. It is believed to be about six years old.

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