British Airways 787 Suffers Nose Gear Collapse

***UPDATE: 06/18/21 @ 11:20 UTC – AAIB now involved***

A British Airways Dreamliner appears to have suffered a collapsed nose gear at London’s Heathrow Airport this morning. Various photographs have surfaced online showing the aircraft at an obscure angle, with fire and rescue as well as airside safety in attendance.

British Airways 787 Suffers Nose Gear Collapse
A British Airways 787-8 has been damaged after the nose gear failed. Photo: Reposted with kind permission of @airline_kitty

787-8 suffers damage

Reports have surfaced regarding a British Airways Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner that has been damaged at Heathrow. Eyewitness accounts suggest that the nose gear of the aircraft has collapsed, leaving it with its forward fuselage resting on the ground.

The aircraft involved in the incident is registered G-ZBJB and is an 8-year-old Boeing 787-8 owned and operated by BA. It is equipped with 154 economy seats, 25 premium economy and 35 in the business class cabin.

According to data from FlightRadar24.com, the aircraft’s last commercial flight was on June 16th, when it arrived from Moscow (DME) to London Heathrow. This particular Dreamliner has been in use for cargo operations, and no passengers were onboard at the time of the incident.

Update

The UK’s Air Accident Investigation Branch (AAIB) has posted a notice to advise that it is investigating what happened. It said:

We have sent a team to London Heathrow to begin an investigation into an incident involving an aircraft that suffered a nose landing gear collapse whilst being loaded with cargo

“A freighter aircraft has been damaged while stationary on stand. As a freighter-only aircraft, there were no passengers on board.

“Safety is always our highest priority and we are investigating the matter.”

Although we don’t know the specifics of the incident yet, it seems that the aircraft was parked when it happened.

The incident occurred at stand 583, according to airport sources.

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BA’s first 787

The sight of the Dreamliner nose down on the apron is doubly painful, considering it was the very first Dreamliner ever delivered to the airline. British Airways took delivery of four 787-8s in 2013, two in June and two in September. This was the very first of the batch.

According to ch-aviation, further Dreamliners arrived in 2014, and the rest in 2017 and 2018. Today, BA operates a total of 12 787-8s, 10 of which are in active use at present. Alongside these, 18 787-9s are also in operation.

With restrictions from the UK making long-haul flying rather difficult, British Airways has been using many of these highly efficient aircraft primarily to carry cargo. Data from Cirium shows that the Dreamliner fleet operated 1,706 flights in the first quarter of the year, and in this second quarter already 1,806 flights have been performed.

While some of these services may have had passengers onboard, a high number would be relying on the record high cargo rates to make the services economical. In addition, some British Airways aircraft have also been operating on behalf of IAG Cargo, giving the cargo airline valuable extra capacity in these uncertain times.

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