Boeing 777 Heathrow Crash Update
An initial report offered by the Air Accidents Investigation Branch Friday said interviews with crew and analysis of the "Flight Recorder" aboard the British Airways Boeing 777 200ER that crashed Thursday at Heathrow indicate the aircraft's engines did not respond to commands from the autothrottle or the flight crew. First Officer John Coward, the flying pilot, told reporters he glided the big airliner to the grass. "Suddenly there was nothing from any of the engines, and the plane started to glide. I didn't think we'd clear the fence at first. As we landed I was bracing myself for an enormous thud. But instead of one thud, there was a series of thuds as it bounced along the grass. Eventually it shuddered to a halt. While I was trying to stop the plane, I struggled to try and keep it in a straight line." So far, fuel levels appear to have been adequate, as "a significant amount of fuel leaked from the aircraft, but there was no fire," according to the report. The lack of throttle response occurred at approximately 600 feet and two miles out, ultimately planting the 777 about 1,000 feet shy of Heathrow's Runway 27L. None of the 136 passengers and 16 crew aboard were seriously injured. The aircraft's right mains separated and the left mains were pushed up through the wing root. Capt. Peter Burkill praised his co-pilot's performance as a "most remarkable job."