BA B777 substantial damage in short landing LHR...

BBC News Only 3 minor injuries reported…

LiveLeak Video


G-YMMM B777-236ER c/n 30314, First Flight 18 May 2001, delivered 31 May 2001.

An airport worker told the BBC that the pilot said he had** lost all power** and had to glide the plane into land.

The BBC’s Angus Crawford said the worker, who was not identified, said the pilot told him** all the electronics had also failed**.

The 777 is a fly-by-wire plane. If all power was lost and all electronics failed, how were the pilots able to control the plane? :confused:

they’re not going to get their luggage for a long while.

It has (limited) manual reversion. Physical cables connect the control column to the elevators and the rudder. (I think - I’m not a 777 pilot :blush: ).

As usual early reports and (ahem) ‘expert’ analysis are contradictory. Losing ‘power’ could mean various things - just the engines, just the electronics or both ? My own guess is engine failure on short final and for that I SPECULATE it could be as simple as fuel exhaustion.

From this New York Times article they state witnesses on the ground observed the aircraft making an unusual approach and that the “the planes engines were making much more noise than usual on approach”.

And if those witnesses are correct then electronics could be the only ‘power loss’.

Of course, why the Captain would be talking to a tug driver (as 'reported) I have no idea. Particularly as there was no need for a tug - there ain’t no wheels any more.

On CNN they stated a source said both engines lost power…?

January 17, 2008

Reports attributed to the captain of a British Airways Boeing 777 that sustained heavy damage when landing at London Heathrow Airport at about 12:42 GMT today indicate that the airplane lost all power before touching down short of Runway 27L. Flight BA038 inbound from Beijing reportedly touched down 1,200 feet short of the threshold and almost 3,000 feet short of the normal touchdown point for landing. The airplane came to rest astride a taxiway junction near the threshold. The reports of total power loss did not specify whether that meant engine or electrical power.

News Update

That clears up the confusion.

Louder than normal.
Sudden loss of altitude.

Inadvertent deployment of the thrust reversers?

I don’t believe that’s possible on the B777 unless the landing gear are under load, just like the spoilers.

Lauda Air Flight 004 proved anything is possible (again).

WIKI Linkie

I’m just making WAGs, since I’m not a pilot(I just play one on television, remember?). But if this did happen on short final, a quick thinking captain shutting down the engines would keep the plane from an outright stall. It would be come an uncontrolled glider, but at least would maintain forward motion and glide characteristics. Perhaps it was a deliberate loss of engines and avionics brought on by premature deployment of the reversers that the captain is talking about.

(With the lack of any other factual causes being reported my cause is arbitrarily just as bad or good as any other)

LiveLeak video conversation with two passengers.

Interesting to note, none of the passengers I have heard speak, noticed anything unusual,
nor did they even know they’d crashed landed.

… I’m curious, since I’m not a pilot or know about such things. Once the investigation into this is complete, they have all their answers and life proceeds, what happens to the plane? I’m guessing that it could be scrapped out for parts or the like, but is there any other destination for it?

On the bright side, the aircraft is near the BA hangars!

I assume the aircraft is a write-off, which ever insurance companies pay out the claim,
decide what to do with the hulk.

Either they will tender a bid, or hire a salvage company to tender a bid, or the sharks
in the salvage business will already be trying to figure what can be salvaged, and
make a direct deal with the title/insurance holder.

Of course, the Civil Aviation Authority will have to release the wreckage first, which could be???

The plane came from Beijing - long flight, but not as long as JFK-NRT or IAD-PEK which 777’s operate day in day out.

The plane ‘lost power’ - as others stated is it merely electrical power to the cabin? Engine power? Who knows. The press knows as much about aviation as they know about medicine and law.

A wind gust could have simple driven the plane into the ground.

I simply cannot imagine fuel exhaustion with all the BA stations they COULD have landed at before they got to LHR with all its’ attendant traffic and vectoring. However, that plane did not skid very far. It is RIGHT at the end of the runway and looks like it was going pretty slow when it landed. Not much is snapped off or broken.

A downdraft would have created ALOT more damage.

This one is interesting. …

Things that make you go HMMMMMMM.

A Triple Seven, A First Class Airline, Amongst the highest regarded crews, on a beautiful day.
No reported problems, none of the passengers noticed anything, not a power loss, cabin lights, nothing???

The facts, are going to be very interesting!