For the superstitious amongst us, it may come as no surprise to learn of a “hard landing” last Friday – the 13th of Feb. At around 8.00pm, a BA plane coming from Amsterdam suffered a collapse of its nose wheel and crash landed at London City Airport.
All 67 passengers and 4 crew members were evacuated safely using the emergency chutes, although there were minor cuts and scrapes as people hit the tarmac. According to one eye witness, passengers had remained calm until the plane started filling with smoke, at which point people became agitated at the time it was taking to evacuate.
Ambulances and other emergency response vehicles and personnel were quick to arrive at the scene and two people were taken to hospital with minor injuries. As a result of the incident, eleven flights due to arrive at City Airport that night had to be diverted: eight to Stansted, one to Southend, one to London Heathrow, and one to Luton. Although the airport re-opened the following day, delays were to be expected.
The Air Accident Investigation Branch has started an investigation into the cause of the accident. Only days earlier a plane of the same type, flying from Glasgow to London City, suffered the same problem with its nose wheel, although the plane did not have to be evacuated.
The plane in question is an Avro RJ-100 which has been manufactured in the UK since 1992. BA have ten but there are 152 in service globally. Two have been involved in major incidents in the past with 99 casualties.