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British Airways Crash - Engine Failure

What does this mean for the more than 700 Boeing 777s currently in service?

Boeing 777 in Trouble?Boeing 777 in Trouble?Last week a Boeing 777 crashed at Heathrow Airport - the first Boeing 777 to crash. First Officer John Coward and the pilot, Peter Burkill, are being lauded as heroes for landing the jet just short of the runway with no fatalities.

Investigators are now citing engine failure as the cause.

Here's what happened. Nearing the runway, the plane's computer-controlled throttle attempted to increase engine power. The engines didn't respond and the throttle made a second attempt.

The flight crew then took over and attempted to ABC News PhotoABC News Photoincrease power manually. No response again. Coward steered plane over homes and a busy freeway to the runway where it slammed into the ground.

Miraculously, almost everyone walked off the plane - 1 person was admitted to hospital overnight.

What does this mean for the more than 700 Boeing 777s currently in service?

There are only a small number of ways both engines can fail at once - failure to deliver fuel to the engines, electronic malfunction or pilot error.

Or it could have been sabotage - which is an entirely different kettle of fish. Thankfully, the FBI ruled out terrorism fairly quickly.

Investigators could take up to 2 years to conclude what caused this crash and if other Boeings are at risk. Until then, pilots steering the 700 or so Boeing 777s will have another safety issue on their checklist.

And so will those of us who fly frequently.

For now, we can be thankful Coward and Burkill's flight crew kept their heads and steered a useless chunk of malfunctioning technology to the ground safely.

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Comments

Being a pilot myself it's hard for me to believe that both engines just decided to quit both at the same time. Being the most modern aircraft in the Boeing fleet, it was designed with duplictated independent systems to control almost all critical systems. The way i see it weather was not a contributing factor. I hate to jump to conclusions but i have a strong feeling that they just simply starved the engines of fuel. The biggest concern in the airline industry at present is fuel price. The Management and accountants running the show are always pushing the pilots especially, to reduce uplift of fuel. They do this through reduction in 'contingency fuel' which is normally included in the fuel order to cater for inflight inaccuracies in the fuel planning. It is not uncommon to have the fuel running low after a long haul flight due to inaccurate forecast weather data used in the flight planning. That is exactly why the contigency fuel is catered for. I dare not speculate on the procedures that British Airways adopts in their 'Fuel Policy' but as a pilot we feel the crunch when it's time to order the fuel.

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