may not necessarily come down in the same ondition.
Do you remember the British Airways 777 that landed 1000ft short of the main runway at Heathrow in January 2008? What about the Delta Airline flight that had similar fault occur 32000ft over Atlanta the following November?
You may have read last week’s press coverage of the 2 reports released – one by the Americans and one by the British. What you may have also heard was the difference in tone between the 2 reports. The US report said that another incident could happen at any time. The Brits just said that Rolls Royce had to solve the problems as soon as possible.
The 777 is a replacement for the 747 in terms of range but only requires 2 engines. Therefore it’s routing means that it has to be within 90 minutes of an airport for its entire flight. Many of these aircraft are routed over the Artic – the cold, white bit at the top, inhabited by Polar Bears, Killer Whales, Seals, idiots (sorry Inuits) and idiots on treks to the North Pole in their Y fronts or by party balloons.
It may not have escaped your attention that the Artic is very, very cold – even with global warming – during the winter. So the fault in the Heat Exchange must be a worrying problem for someone. Not for our British Air Accident Board though. They don’t like to make a drama out of a crisis.
The airlines refuse to ground the aircraft until the fault is resolved – at current estimates in 12-18 months time. This would cost them to much money in lost revenue. However what this means is that should another 777 have an “incident” then they leave themselves open to massive compensation claims.
BA have announced that they will not tell passsengers whether or not the 777 they fly will have (un)safe Rolls Royce Trent engines or the uneffected GE90 engines. According to BA this is not possible for them to do – even though which aircraft are and aren’t absolutely safe.
Personally I would play safe and book with another airline not operating 777’s on that route or can guarantee using only GE90 engines. Is it worth spending another hundred or so knowing that you will have a much better chance of arriving landing safely.
If you don’t believe that Trents are a problem then let me just say that Rolls have issued at least 3 notices for part changes in the past few months – these are circulated to the airlines and made known in the trade press. As I much as I believe in supporting British industry, for something this serious I would sooner buy foreign.
History What Did ‘appen:
1190: People in York celebrate a special event – St. Pogrom’s Day – by massacring 150 Jews.
1660: The Long Parliament dissolves itself.
1802: The military academy at West Point, New York is founded.
1872: The first FA Cup Final is played between Wanderers and Royal Engineers at the Kennington Oval. Wanderers are the winners.
1926: Robert H. Goddard successfully launches the world’s first liquid fuelled rocket at Auburn, Massachusetts. This helped to give reality to man’s dreams of reaching the stars – though Charlie Chaplin did complain at this intrusion on his privvy.
1953: Marshal Tito, of Yugoslavia, becomes the first Communist head of state to visit Britain.
1968: US troops slaughter between 200 & 500 unarmed villages at My Lai in South Vietnam.
1976: Harold Wilson unexpectedly resigns as Prime Minister. It may have been to do with Alzheimers – or because of his holidays on the Sciliy Isles every year.
1978: Aldo Moro, a former Italian Prime Minister, is kidnapped by the Red Brigade in Rome. He is later murdered.
1988: Sadaam Hussein’s forces mount a chemical attack on the Kurdish town of Halabja, killing about 5000 people.