News Commentary – February 18, 2008
The Air Accidents Investigation Branch has failed to declare why a British Airways Boeing 777 was forced to crash land at Heathrow Airport last month.
While the AAIB showed just how close the 136 passengers and 16 crew came to disaster, it admitted that the crash was not due to “mechanical failure.”
This was expected. As others have noted elsewhere there were a number of anomalies involved in the crash that still haven’t been fully explained.
For a start, immediately after the crash all passengers were taken to a terminal building at Heathrow and held for nearly two hours “debriefing”.
Stranger still was the crash itself. The Boeing lost “all power” on its approach to landing and only avoided complete disaster due to the superb flying skills of the aircrew.
Although the AAIB ruled out mechanical failure or a take-in of ice or a birdstrike, as the cause of the crash, it still didn’t say what actually caused it.
That maybe because investigators were instructed not to fully reveal what they found.
As others have noted
, a mere two weeks before the Heathrow crash a similar incident occurred in Thailand.
A Quantas 747, 400 lost all power on its final approach to Bangkok. Despite suffering a total blackout however, the Quantas 747 managed to coast in using its brief emergency battery reserve.
As with the BA Boeing 777, no mechanical faults were reported and significantly no aircraft were withdrawn from service pending further investigation.
So what really caused the total loss of power on these flights?
According to one expert at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, an electro-magnetic pulse device being developed by the United States military inadvertently brought down TWA 800 off Long Island
on July 17, 1996.
Was this the real cause behind these near disasters at Bangkok and Heathrow? If so it may explain why the authorities are saying so little about what caused them and why they are not withdrawing any flights pending further investigations.
Quite simply they know what happened but they don’t want to say too much and scare away potential customers.
Which may explain why they are talking about the crash jet’s fuel supply not being shut off properly
: this is simply a diversionary tactic to distract attention and stop people asking if it wasn’t mechanical failure, then what did cause the power to shut off?
Last updated 22/02/2008