Julian Bray Aviation expert writes: Despite what The Daily Mail says the British Airways Airbus A319 G-EUDE didn't crash land and it wasn't a Boeing either! The BA Airbus A319 bound for Oslo made a fully controlled emergency landing, no extensive foam carpet was laid and the emergency landing and evacuation drill carried out by the book.
The undercarriage was fully operable and the pilot seems to have had full navigation control, and at all times in radio communication with NATS air traffic controllers. The arcraft has since been towed from the northern runway by an airport tug to a a secure hanger area for a full air accident investigation. Widespread disruption to Heathrow flights has been caused and will take a full 24 hours (over a bank holiday peak period) to put right.
The incident initially thought to be a bird strike but BA simply cite a "technical malfunction' ie mechanical/ computer malfunction - but the results of the formal investigation will need to be considered and the back box flight recorder decoded, before the cause can be confirmed.
Commentators are also suggesting the other engine was also showing signs of damage as the P&W engines would normally be able to cope with strikes by smaller bird varieties so perhaps the technical malfunction is still an area for investigation. Did the service technician properly bolt down the two engine cowlings or did they overtighten and the retaining bolts/ catches possibly sheared? Speculation of course, but the most obvious answers are not always correct.
All 75 passengers were taken off the BA Flight 762 to Oslo via the emergency chutes. The cowling off one engine seems to have lifted,, a smoked trail was seen, then flames burst though in flight shortly after take off, according to in flight passenger pictures posted on Twitter and images broadcast on television news channels This particular Airbus 319 has a seven year service history and one of the first to feature computer driven 'fly by wire' navigation and control systems.
The aircraft can fly by wire, both slowly and in a nose up stall position, whereas earlier aircraft types trying this would have simply dropped out of the sky. Video footage on Sky News shows the Airbus 319 with smoke billowing out of one engine port. Heathrow Airport, Europe's busiest, closed both runways to deal with the incident, but one has since re-opened.
BA Airbus A319 are generally powered by two IAE V2500 engines manufactured by the International Aero Engines, part-owned by Pratt & Whitney parent UTC..
JULIAN BRAY, Media, Aviation, & Travel Expert. Broadcaster & Journalist NUJ EQUITY UK Tel: 01733 345581 (isdn link on application)