British Airways Heathrow flight suffered ‘engine surge’ on take-off so returned for emergency landing

A British Airways plane was forced to turn back shortly after taking off at Heathrow Airport after an “engine surge” in the air.  A witness said flames were “spitting out of the engine” as the aircraft took off at 20.54 GMT on Thursday 6th March.  British Airways said flight BA0364 to Lyon, France, touched down safely, and the aircraft would be “thoroughly checked over by engineers”.  The southern runway was closed for about 16 minutes.  A local resident who saw it said: “I was in the petrol station opposite the airport, which is when I heard the bang, so I turned around and the plane had flames spitting out of the engine with a spluttering noise as it was still taking off. I then watched it continue to climb and the engine was still emitting flames intermittently.”  BA said  “A flight experienced what’s known as an ‘engine surge’ as it took off from Heathrow” So the  plane limped back into Heathrow. Webtrak shows it circling over Cobham etc for some 25 minutes before joining the northern runway approach path at around Brixton and landing at about 21.37 – so it flew for miles over densely populated areas of London. The last incident of a plane having to make an emergency landing, and flying across London with a burning engine, was in May 2013, when the engine cowls had not been closed properly.

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The track of the plane is visible on Webtrak http://webtrak.bksv.com/lhr  Which shows flights after a 24 hour delay.

It took off at 20.54 and then circled in the stack over Leaterhead, Cobham, Esher, Dorking etc till setting off to land at about 21.24pm, joining the approach to the northern runway about over Brixton, and landing at about 21.37.

BA 364  LYS – LHR  Type 319


 

British Airways Heathrow flight grounded by ‘engine surge’

7 March 2014  (BBC)

A plane was forced to turn back shortly after taking off at Heathrow Airport after an “engine surge” in the air.

A witness said flames were “spitting out of the engine” as the aircraft took off at about 21:00 GMT on Thursday.

British Airways said flight BA0364 to Lyon, France, touched down safely, adding that the aircraft would be “thoroughly checked over by engineers”.

A spokesman said: “The safety of our customers, crew and aircraft is of the utmost importance.”

The southern runway was closed for about 16 minutes, an airport spokeswoman said.

Tom Puttick, who works near Heathrow, said: “I was in the petrol station opposite the airport, which is when I heard the bang, so I turned around and the airplane had flames spitting out of the engine with a spluttering noise as it was still taking off.

‘Engine shut down’

“I then watched it continue to climb and the engine was still emitting flames intermittently.

“Lots of blue lights then emerged on the airport while the plane, I guess, turned around to make an emergency landing but I couldn’t see it after the aircraft turned out of sight.”

In a statement, British Airways said: “A flight experienced what’s known as an ‘engine surge’ as it took off from Heathrow, but it has now returned and touched down safely.

“We train our pilots to the very highest standards including how to respond to these type of events, and the engine was immediately shut down.”

The airline said passengers on the flight would be given hotel accommodation overnight and rebooked to fly on Friday.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-26478011

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BA 0364 take off 20.54

BA 0364 takes off at 20.54 and immediately shown in red as a plane landing (not a plane in green, as a take off)

BA 0364 circling over Cobham etc 21.13

BA 0364 circles over Cobham etc at 21.13 – and for around 25 minutes

BA0364 over Croydon on way to landing 21.28

BA 0364 over Croydon on its way to join the approach path for the northern runway

 

BA0364 over Brixton 21.37

BA 0364 joining the Heathrow northern runway approach path around Brixton at 21.31  from where it flew  to the airport on the usual flight path.  Landed at about 21.37

The track of the plane is visible on Webtrak http://webtrak.bksv.com/lhr  Which shows flights after a 24 hour delay.

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Less than a year earlier:

 

Heathrow emergency landing of BA plane with engine on fire: Engine cowls had been left unlatched

31.5.2013

Air accident investigators say the doors on both engines of the BA flight that made an emergency landing at Heathrow last week had been left unlatched. This was due to human error.  Air accident experts said the coverings – the fan cowl doors – broke off and punctured the right engine’s fuel pipe, damaging the aircraft’s systems. The engine was extensively damaged.  The jet flew back to Heathrow, on one engine, with smoke trailing from the other, right across heavily populated London.  It landed safely.  The findings were made in an interim report by the Air Accidents Investigation Branch (AAIB), which is examining the cause of the emergency  It will make its final report in a couple of months. The fan cowl doors on both engines were left unlatched during maintenance and this was not identified prior to aircraft departure. BA confirmed that 2 different engineers would normally check whether a plane’s engine covers had been shut before take-off. David Learmount, former pilot: “This is a bit of an accident waiting to happen because it is so difficult to see”. Airbus said there had, in the past, been 32 reported incidents of fan cowl doors not being shut – details of some at the link below. 

http://www.airportwatch.org.uk/?p=3770

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