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Crashed passenger jet to be moved

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Crashed passenger jet to be moved

Post by shammy on Sun Jan 20, 2008 7:00 am

19th January,2008

A passenger jet which crash-landed onto the runway of Heathrow Airport will be moved on Sunday morning, accident investigators have announced.

Co-pilot John Coward managed to land the stricken Boeing 777 jet just inside the airport's fence on Thursday.
An initial report by the Air Accident Investigations Branch (AAIB) said the engines failed to respond to demands for increased thrust from the crew.

A more detailed analysis of the flight recorder is taking place.

A spokesman for the AAIB said: "The plane will be moved tomorrow morning between 0800 and 1100.

"It will be moved to the eastern hangars at Heathrow and will remain there for the duration of the investigation."

The AAIB is also looking at "the range of aircraft systems that could influence engine operation".

Earlier Captain Peter Burkill, who had been in overall charge of the plane, said Senior First Officer Coward had done a "most remarkable job" in landing the aircraft.

He also praised all the crew for showing "the highest standards of skill and professionalism".

"Flying is about teamwork and we had an outstanding team on board," he said.


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Re: Crashed passenger jet to be moved

Post by shammy on Sun Jan 20, 2008 8:00 am

20th January,2008

Hunt for fatal flaw of Flight 38

An electronic systems failure is emerging as the prime suspect in BA’s brush with disaster at Heathrow

After 10 hours of flying, Speedbird 038 was almost home. First Officer John Coward was preparing to land the British Airways flight from Beijing to Heathrow. In front of him on the right side of the cockpit were three screens displaying flight, navigation and engine data; another three were arrayed in front of Captain Peter Burkill, who sat on the left.

Beyond, through the cockpit windows, Coward could see central London, one of the most densely populated areas of Europe, stretch into the distance. It was Thursday lunchtime and they were approaching Heathrow from the east. There is a preference for flights into the airport to cross the capital in this direction because it is quieter than having them take off over the city. Below them, millions of people were going about their business, never imagining that a plane might fall out of the sky.

At eight nautical miles from the airport, BA038 was down to about 2,400ft in a shallow glide. At 7½ nautical miles, the plane lined up with the instrument landing system that would guide it into Heathrow.

“At 2,000ft you lower the gear,” said a former 777 pilot, referring to the undercarriage. “That’s the procedure.”

The plane was lining up for a “category one” landing in good weather, being guided in by two radio beams, one horizontal, one vertical. They were drawing the plane down a three-degree glidepath onto the southern runway, known as 27L, at Heathrow. Everything appeared normal.

The Boeing 777 is one of the most advanced passenger jets in the world, crammed with highly sophisticated electronics. Over 12 years it had established a remarkable safety record - more than 600 of the planes had gone into service and not one had crashed.

To Coward, a 41-year-old career pilot with BA, it was a routine flight and the plane was taking the strain.

The autopilot and autothrottle were engaged and making the necessary adjustments.

“You can see the throttles moving themselves. It’s as if they have a ghostly hand on them,” another retired 777 pilot said. “The gear is down and the flaps are down. In most cases you’d see the runway at this point.

The aircraft would be holding a speed or even slowing slightly.”

As the plane approached, Coward, according to former pilots, would have announced: “1,000 radio. Man land 200.” This meant the plane was at 1,000ft, in its final approach, and that Coward was going to switch from autopilot to a manual landing at 200ft.

Once such a procedure was set, the plane would continue under automatic control until it reached an altitude of 250ft. Then a female computer voice would say, “Decide.”

“That’s decision time,” said a former 777 pilot. “The co-pilot would take the autopilot out. He’d say, ‘Man land 200, I have control’

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