Date: November 5th, 1997
Type: Airbus 340
Operator: Virgin Atlantic
Where: London-Heathrow, UK
Report No.: Not Available
Report Date: -
This is not an accident investigation report.
November 5, 1997 - Jet Makes London Emergency Landing
LONDON , England- A Virgin Atlantic plane made an emergency landing
at Heathrow Airport today after part of its landing gear locked up
following a flight from Los Angeles. Some passengers suffered minor
The Virgin Atlantic Airbus 340, Flight VS024, was forced to land
with only its right landing gear in position, Virgin spokesman Ian
De Sousa said. He said the pilot was unable to get the plane's left
landing gear to descend.
``It went down the runway, sparks were flying, and it slid off
towards the end of the runway, virtually out of sight,'' witness
John Asher told Independent Television News.
The jet came to a stop on the runway, where all 98 passengers
and 16 crew members were quickly evacuated with emergency landing
``A number of passengers suffered minor injuries during the
evacuation. Four of those taken to a local hospital,'' said airport
spokesman Daryl Bartlet. ``Nobody was seriously injured.''
Both Asher and Virgin praised the pilot's work.
``He held it off the ground as long as he could, I guess, to try
and reduce speed to the minimum, and as it did eventually touch
down, it was obviously quite one-sided,'' Asher said.
Virgin spokesman Ian De Sousa called it ``a textbook emergency
One of Heathrow's two runways was closed, causing delays to
other airlines at London's top airport.
British Airways, which operates the most flights at Heathrow,
had to divert 11 flights to London's Gatwick and Stansted airports,
or to Birmingham. It also canceled six departures from Heathrow.
A loose brake rod in the landing gear of an Airbus jet
appears to have been behind an emergency landing by a Virgin Atlantic
airliner, an industry source said on Thursday. Flights were disrupted on
Thursday morning at London's Heathrow airport after an Airbus A340 wide-body
flown by Virgin made an emergency landing on Wednesday night after its
left-hand landing gear failed to deploy.Preliminary inspection showed that
holding nuts on the brake rod seemed to have come off, allowing it to swing
loose and impede the extension of the landing gear, the source said.
from Airbus Industrie and Anglo-French company Messier-Dowty , which makes
the A340 landing gear, were examining the equipment, as part of the official
accident investigation led by Britain's Civil Aviation Authority (CAA), the
source said. Virgin's arch rival British Airways Plc said on Thursday it had
cancelled around 20 flights out of Heathrow airport due to the disruption
caused by the emergency landing.
The cancellations, mainly affecting
short-haul flights to other UK cities and continental Europe, resulted from
crews and aircraft being in the wrong place, a BA spokeswoman said. Six of
the 114 people on board the Virgin flight were taken to hospital but none was
seriously hurt after the pilot made what was hailed as a ``text book