BA 010 Emergency Landing in Kazakhstan


Just saw this in the paper this morning - cant find any web link for some reason

***More than 300 passengers were left stranded at a remote airport yesterday when a British Airways Boeing 747 made an emergency landing because a swarm of bees set off the plane’s fire alarm.

The Captain of the Sydney - Bangkok - London flight was forced to make a rapid descent from 30,000ft in less than 13 minutes, fearing there was a fierce balze in the cargo hold.

They landed in Uralsk in North Western Kazakhstan, but they were stranded on a small airstrip unable to take off again. Flight BA 010 had been left unfit to continue because fire extinguishers in the cargo hold were set off when the emergency lights illuminated. The 2,500m Uralsk runway is also unsuitable for large planes.

The cause of the emergency landing, 30 miles short of the Russian border in a mountanious isolated region, is believed to be because a set of Bees managed to get loose and triggered the fire sensors.

Thousands of the insects were on board, being transported to Britain from Australia to help counter a honey shortage in the UK. Only groups of 100 passengers at a time were allowed out of the aircraft for fresh air, whilst two planes from LHR (London Heathrow) were sent to the remote airport.

Uralsk airport official Grigory Zhuk admitted that the incident was a “major emergency” and that the BA captain had been forced to act quickly.

He said “It came down too fast, without the time to get to a bigger airport. We have made the passengers as comfortable as possible but our facilities are basic - we are a small provincial airport.”

2 smaller planes are to arrive at Uralsk and rescue the 354 passengers and crew. The flight should arrive early this morning at London Heathrow***
According to the British Airways website, the two rescue flights arrived at 05:26 this morning. There are no reports of any passengers injured during the rapid decent. Glad that everyone is safe and at home now.


The runway’s about 7,600 feet long… Any speculation as to how they’ll get that sucker outta there? Offload all the cargo, drain the fuel to allow just enough to get to a larger airport, and strap on a few JATO rockets - they should be able to fly it out… ya think? They’re not gonna have to disassemble it, are they?


From what i have heard, it was down to weight - so the fuel, passengers, size of aircraft bla bla bla! If thats true or not i dont know but again i have heard the plane is back in the UK


With no pax or cargo it should be able to get off in under 7500 feet (at 2000 ft altitude) even with 150t fuel onboard. See Boeing’s 747-400(ER) airport planning document for more details.