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British Airways Flight 38

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British Airways Flight 38
BA38 Crash.jpg
Date  January 17, 2008
Type  Landed short of runway
Site  London Heathrow Airport, United Kingdom
Origin  Beijing Capital Airport, China
Destination  London Heathrow Airport, United Kingdom
Passengers  136
Crew  16
Injuries  13[1]
Fatalities  0
Survivors  152(all)
 Aircraft type  Boeing 777-236ER
Operator  British Airways
Tail number  G-YMMM

British Airways Flight BA38 was a British Airways flight between Beijing Capital International Airport and London Heathrow Airport.[2] At 12:42 on 17 January, 2008 the Boeing 777-236ER aircraft G-YMMM (c/n 30314/342) landed on the grass 350-400m short of runway 27L/09R (southern runway), and skidded across the grass, losing its undercarriage in the process and coming to a rest on the start of the runway. Eight ambulances were sent to the scene and thirteen people suffered minor injuries.[1]

Up to this point the Boeing 777 had a good safety record. Since its first flight in 1994 this was the first hull loss incident involving a Boeing 777.[3][4] This was BA's third accident involving the 777.[5]

It was reported that the aircraft lost all power and avionics at approximately 400ft and 20-30 seconds away from touchdown. No emergency messages were given to the control tower or cabin crew. David Learmont of Flight International stated that to land in just 350-400m, the aircraft must have been near stalling when it touched down. [6][7]




Many outward flights were delayed. British Prime Minister Gordon Brown was at Heathrow awaiting a flight to China at the time.[8] His departure was delayed because of the accident. Also on the same flight as the Prime Minster were Sir Richard Branson and Dame Kelly Holmes.[8]

The reason for the delays was a lack of fire cover due to the number of appliances attending to the crashed aircraft. Incoming flights were diverted to Luton and Stansted.[1] All short haul flights were cancelled for the rest of the day. Some long haul departures were cancelled, with delays of up to 1½ hours for other flights. Four flights from Manchester were cancelled. 20 flights were diverted to Gatwick, Luton or Stansted.[1] As of 1929 hrs on 17-1-08, 221 flights had been cancelled.[9]


BAA Limited -

Incident at Heathrow

We can confirm that flight BA038, a Boeing 777 arriving from Beijing, carried out an emergency landing at Heathrow Airport today at 12.42. Heathrow’s emergency services attended the scene and passengers were immediately evacuated and taken to a reception centre at the airport. The Air Accidents Investigation Branch is attending the scene.

Heathrow Airport’s southern runway was closed immediately after the incident but has now re-opened for take-offs only. The northern runway is operating for arriving aircraft.

Passengers flying from Heathrow today should contact their airline regarding the status of their flight. Some arriving aircraft are being diverted to other airports, this is being done on a flight by flight basis.

BAA Limited , BAA Heathrow Homepage

London Ambulance Service -

We were called at approximately 12.45pm today to reports of an incident involving an aeroplane at Heathrow Airport.

We have sent three fast response cars, eight ambulances, an emergency control vehicle and a number of officers to the scene. The Hazardous Area Response team did attend the incident but has now been stood down.

Six patients with minor injuries have been taken to Hillingdon Hospital and our staff are currently continuing to assess patients at the reception centre.

London Ambulance Service , News Release - Call to Heathrow Airport

Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) -

The Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) is aware of today’s incident involving a British Airways Boeing 777 at Heathrow.

The incident will be investigated by the Air Accidents Investigation Branch of the Department for Transport and the CAA is offering assistance to all organisations involved.

Civil Aviation Authority

British Airways

A British Airways Boeing 777 aircraft has been involved in an incident today at Heathrow airport. The aircraft was operating as flight BA38 from Beijing.

Cabin crew safely evacuated all 136 passengers from the aircraft. Three passengers have sustained minor injuries.

British Airways

British Airways CEO, Willie Walsh -

Regrettably one of our aircraft has been involved in an incident today at Heathrow. Our flight and cabin crew did a magnificent job and safely evacuated all of the 136 passengers.

There were three minor injuries among our customers.

The captain of the aircraft is one of our most experienced and has been flying with us for nearly 20 years. Our crew are trained to deal with these situations.

An investigation is being conducted by the Air Accident Investigation Branch so it would be inappropriate to speculate about the likely cause of this incident.

I would also like to praise the fire, ambulance and police services.

British Airways

David Learmount, Flight International -

The aircraft had either a total or severe power loss and this occurred very late in the final approach because the pilot did not have time to tell air traffic control or passengers.

Flight International , David Learmount


The AAIB are investigating the accident,[1] the results of which will be published when complete. It has been reported that a separate investigation will be held by the Department of Transport [10]


External links

See also