A report has been released looking into what caused a Boeing 787’s nose to smash into the tarmac at Heathrow Airport back in 2021.
The crash, which was caused by a failure with landing gear according to the report, led to serious damage to the plane and left one member of the ground staff and a co-pilot with injuries.
On June 18 in 2021 the cargo flight which had no passengers on board was set to fly from London Heathrow to Frankfurt when an issue was found with the Nose Landing Gear (NLG).
The nose smashed into the tarmac on a remote stand at the airport. In response to three fault messages coming through associated with the NLG, a maintenance team worked to try and fix the issues while the flight crew prepared the aircraft for the flight.
It was confirmed that some fixes could be deferred to a later date as long as the doors for the NLG were functional. To help this and prevent the landing gear from retracting when the landing gear lever was in the ‘up’ position, downlock pins were fitted to the landing gear.
However, when the lead engineer moved the landing gear lever to up, the NLG retracted. This meant that the whole front of the plane tipped forward, smashing the nose and undercarriage of the plane onto the tarmac.
This caused significant damage to the lower front section of the aircraft and inflicted minor injuries on the co-pilot and one of the cargo loading team.
An investigation revealed that the pin to prevent the Nose Landing Gear closing had been put in the wrong hole. This meant it hadn’t prevented the NLG from retracting.
The damage was extensive to the plane with the underside of the forward fuselage, door 2L, and forward lower engine’s cowlings all significantly affected.