A British Airways jetliner forced to make an emergency landing at London Heathrow a week ago suffered an engine fault caused by fan components that hadn’t been properly fastened, an investigation found.
As the Airbus SAS A319, which carried 75 passengers, took off from the Heathrow runway, unsecured fan cowl doors detached and punctured a fuel pipe on the right engine, leading to a fire, the bulletin by the U.K. Air Accidents Investigation Branch said. The pilots shut down the engine and flew the plane back to Heathrow. Nobody was injured.
British Airways said it has taken “appropriate initial action” to meet the AAIB’s safety recommendations. The panel said Airbus must reiterate with operators “the importance of verifying that the fan cowl doors are latched prior to flight by visually checking the position of the latches.”
Flight BA762 left Heathrow for Oslo at 8:16 a.m. on May 24 before turning back with a technical fault and landing at 8:43 a.m., London-based British Airways said last week. The plane A319 is a single-aisle model typically used on European routes.
The engines were IAE V2522-A5 turbofan engines. The aircraft had undergone overnight maintenance, which required opening the fan cowl doors on the engines, the investigator said. Because of their proximity to the ground, the latches are difficult to see unless maintenance workers crouch down, it said.