Virgin launches first UK routes

Virgin is to move into the domestic market for routes in and out of Heathrow - and that could spark a price war with British Airways.

Heathrow crash pay-outs

An out of court settlement has been reached between 65 passengers on a British Airways flight which crash-landed at Heathrow.

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World's largest passenger plane set for Kent

Airplane flying
A380 Airbus is arriving at Heathrow today Credit: ITV Meridian

The A380 superjumbo will arrive at Heathrow today before it travels to Kent for training.

British Airways will become the first airline to have an Airbus A380 and will send the aircraft to Manston, in Kent for crew and operations training before going into service,

The engines are powered by Rolls Royce and its wings were built in the UK, the double-decker plane will make its first commerical long-haul flight to LA in September.

Airbus president and chief executive Fabrice Bregie said: "It is a very proud moment for everyone at Airbus to see our A380 in the livery of British Airways."

A lesson in flying the new Airbus

Click video. The world's biggest commercial planes will soon be operating from Heathrow and the pilots responsible for flying them have begun training on multi-million pound simulators built in Crawley.

After two years of waiting British Airways will take delivery of their first "Superjumbo jets" next month. Our reporter Andy Dickenson was given a lesson in how to fly the new Airbus A380.

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BA emergency landing - fuller report now expected

by Mike Pearse

The report has made the following safety recommendation and a fuller report is expected later in the year:

"It is recommended that Airbus formally notifies operators of A320-family aircraft of the fan cowl door loss event on A319 G-EUOE on 24 May 2013, and reiterates the importance of verifying that the fan cowl doors are latched prior to flight by visually checking the position of the latches."

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Source of fire on BA flight still unknown

The report said the BA plane had undergone scheduled maintenance the night before the incident, which required opening the fan cowl doors on both engines to check oil levels.

The report noted that the plane manufacturer Airbus had recommended airlines strictly adhere to maintenance standards following previous instances of fan cowl door separation on the A320 "family" of planes, which include the A319 in last week's incident.

British Airways plane surrounded by emergency vehicles after it had to make an emergency landing at Heathrow.
British Airways plane surrounded by emergency vehicles after it had to make an emergency landing at Heathrow. Credit: Steve Parsons/PA Wire

The report said that last July Airbus said there had been 32 reported fan cowl door detachments.

On some occasions, significant damage was caused to the aircraft but none of those events resulted in a fire.

"The source of ignition that led to the in-flight fire is still under investigation," the AAIB said.

Airlines warned of safety risk following BA emergency

It has been revealed there were 32 other incidents of aircraft engine doors falling off according to today's safety report.

Airlines are being told of the dangers and to ensure they meet proper maintenance procedures.

The report says: "This event has shown that the consequences of fan cowl door detachment are unpredictable and can present a greater risk to flight safety than previously experienced."

Of the previous incidents is says: "80% occurred during the take off phase of flight. On some occasions significant damage was caused to the aircraft, however, none of these events had resulted in a subsequent engine fire."

BA engine doors 'left unlatched' before emergency landing

by Mike Pearse
A passenger's photo from the time showed the engine in trouble in the air. Credit: ITV Meridian

An interim report into the incident at Heathrow last week in which a plane made an emergency landing says poor maintenance is to blame.

Doors that cover both engines were "left unlatched during maintenance" says the report from air investigators at Farnborough.

Both of the fan cowl doors came off after the plane left Heathrow but one punctured a fuel pipe causing a fire and the emergency.

The report says: "Fan cowl doors from both engines detached puncturing a fuel pipe on the right engine and damaging the airframe, and some aircraft systems.

"The flight crew elected to return to Heathrow. On the approach to land an external fire developed on the right engine. The left engine continued to perform normally throughout the flight. The right engine was shut down and the aircraft landed safely and was brought to a stop on Runway 27R."

A full-scale emergency was declared after the A319 plane took off. It had 75 passengers and was heading to Oslo.

The report continues: "The emergency services quickly attended and extinguished the fire in the right engine. The passengers and crew evacuated the aircraft via the escape slides, without injury."

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