Out of court settlement after Heathrow crash

Accident investigators look through the wreckage of the British Airways Boeing 777 that landed at London's Heathrow Airport, Jan 18, 2008. Photo: AP Photo/Kirsty Wigglesworth

An out of court settlement has been reached between 65 passengers on a British Airways flight which crash-landed at Heathrow and the aircraft’s manufacturers.

Action was taken in the American courts in Chicago against Boeing, who made the plane, and Rolls Royce, the company which built the engines.

There were 152 passengers and crew on board the Boeing 777 when it suffered an engine failure on its approach to Heathrow following flight BA38 from Beijing in January 2008.

The aircraft narrowly cleared the perimeter fence and crash landed short of the runway.

The plane’s captain, Peter Burkill and co-pilot, John Coward, were hailed as heroes for their handling of the emergency.

Accident investigators look through the wreckage of the British Airways Boeing 777 that landed at London's Heathrow Airport, Jan 18, 2008. Credit: AP Photo/Kirsty Wigglesworth

At the time there were 13 injuries reported and an investigation by the Air Accident Investigation Bureau attributed the engine failure to a blockage in the fuel supply caused by ice after the aircraft flew through unusually low temperatures.

Details of the settlement have not been disclosed. Stewarts Law, who brought the action, said its clients had suffered “physical as well as serious psychological injuries, including developing a fear of flying and flashbacks".

Following the settlement James Healy-Pratt of Stewarts Law said: “This incident is a victory for the passengers and crew of BA038.

“Psychological injuries sustained in traumatic incidents are under-estimated by many. It was fortunate that there were no fatalities here. The faulty part of the Boeing 777 has now been redesigned.”