Doors on both engines of plane in fire scare were unlatched – report
British Airways' procedures are under the spotlight after an accident report revealed that doors on both engines of the BA plane in last week's Heathrow emergency landing drama had been left unlatched during maintenance.
Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin said last night that the interim report by the Air Accidents Investigation Branch (AAIB) contained "serious findings". He added that the aviation industry must act immediately to take the appropriate safety action and ensure that all lessons are learnt from what had happened.
Last week's Heathrow drama saw an Oslo-bound BA Airbus A319 returning to the west London airport with smoke billowing from one of its engines.
Today's AAIB report said the unlatching of the fan cowl doors had not been identified before the plane took off with 75 passengers and five crew on May 24.
The fan cowl doors from both engines detached as the aircraft left the runway at Heathrow, puncturing a fuel pipe on the right engine, the report said.
On the approach to land, an external fire developed on the right engine.
On landing, the emergency services quickly attended and extinguished the fire. Passengers and crew evacuated the aircraft via the escape slides, without injury.
BA chief executive officer Keith Williams said: "We welcome the publication of the AAIB interim report. We continue to co-operate fully with the investigation team."