Skip to main content

Report: Plane's unlatched covers led to fire, emergency landing in UK

By Jason Hanna, CNN
updated 11:44 AM EDT, Fri May 31, 2013

(CNN) -- Engine covers that flew off and damaged a British Airways plane upon takeoff last week had been left unlatched during maintenance, British aviation investigators said in a preliminary report Friday.

The damage prompted the pilots of British Airways Flight 762 to make a safe emergency landing at London's Heathrow Airport shortly after takeoff there May 24.

An investigation of the flight determined that the covers, called fan cowl doors, were "left unattached during maintenance and this was not identified prior to aircraft departure" from Heathrow, said Friday's bulletin from the Air Accidents Investigation Branch.

The flyaway doors punctured the right engine's fuel pipe and damaged other systems, leading to a loss of thrust control and eventually an engine fire, said the report from AAIB, part of the UK Department of Transport.

Smoke from plane in skies over London
Exposed engine prompts emergency landing

The flight, initially bound for Norway's capital and carrying 75 passengers and five crew members, made an emergency landing less than 30 minutes after takeoff. Firefighters extinguished a small fire at the right engine.

Passengers were evacuated from the plane on emergency slides after landing, and three people were treated for minor injuries, officials said.

The left engine performed normally throughout the flight, the bulletin said.

British Airways chief executive Keith Williams said the airline is "precluded from releasing or discussing any additional details while the AAIB investigation is ongoing."

"We welcome the publication of the AAIB interim report," he said. "We continue to cooperate fully with the investigation team and can confirm that appropriate initial action has already been taken in accordance" with the bulletin.

READ MORE: Runways reopen after emergency landing at London Heathrow Airport

CNN's Per Nyberg contributed to this report.

ADVERTISEMENT
Part of complete coverage on
updated 11:12 AM EST, Wed November 26, 2014
Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson says he was just doing his "job right" when he shot and killed black teenager Michael Brown.
updated 8:18 PM EST, Sun November 23, 2014
The interior of the Formosa Boulevard Mass Rapid Transit Station in Kaohsiung, in southern Taiwan.
Stunning stations where your first priority won't be finding the nearest exit.
updated 6:18 PM EST, Tue November 25, 2014
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan says women's "nature is different," sparking fury.
updated 5:43 AM EST, Mon November 24, 2014
A 30-year-old woman has been charged with attempting to kill a baby police say spent five days down a drain before being discovered by cyclists.
updated 8:21 PM EST, Thu November 20, 2014
If it wasn't for a comic's skit, Bill Cosby would still be America's favorite father, says expert.
updated 7:51 PM EST, Sun November 23, 2014
Where do hip young things hang out in Taiwan?
updated 10:50 AM EST, Fri November 21, 2014
Obama orders the most sweeping overhaul of U.S. immigration in decades, prioritizing the deportation of "felons, not families."
updated 4:06 PM EST, Tue November 18, 2014
Fighters loyal to ISIS are now in control of Derna, a city on Libya's Mediterranean coast.
updated 6:19 PM EST, Fri November 21, 2014
China and likely other countries have the capacity to shut down the U.S. power grid, says the NSA.
updated 2:45 PM EST, Wed November 19, 2014
The founder of a U.S. nonprofit that works with returning soldiers is named CNN's Hero of the Year.
updated 10:57 AM EST, Wed November 26, 2014
Each day, CNN brings you an image capturing a moment to remember, defining the present in our changing world.
Browse through images from CNN teams around the world that you don't always see on news reports.
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT