***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.
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.
🔴 Un Boeing 787-8 de British Airways a subi un effacement de train à l’aéroport de Londres Heathrow.
Plus d’infos à venir. pic.twitter.com/8BmPF4AUV5
— air plus news (@airplusnews) June 18, 2021
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.
BA is now too cheap to pay for stairs 🤣 pic.twitter.com/xQfrir7kJv
— starflyergold 💉💉 (@starflyergold) June 18, 2021
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.
“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.
More photos from a friend (via Robert Alexandrescu): @British_Airways @Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner (G-ZBJB) suffered a nose gear collapse while parked at London @HeathrowAirport (LHR). @JacdecNew @AviationSafety @MZulqarnainBut1 @jetcitystar pic.twitter.com/hxeXtHbHkr
— Aeronews (@AeronewsGlobal) June 18, 2021
The incident occurred at stand 583, according to airport sources.
According to local airport sources, the incident took place on stand 583, btwn Terminal 5C and 3. pic.twitter.com/KgBg4pys08
— JACDEC (@JacdecNew) June 18, 2021
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BA 787-8 G-ZBJB nose wheel collapsed on stand at Heathrow this morning. Was getting ready to operate a cargo flight to Frankfurt. No injuries, only to the plane. 👀 pic.twitter.com/lCa94p1g2g
— Train&PlaneHub (@Train_PlaneHub) June 18, 2021
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.
— M Zulqarnain B (@MZulqarnainBut1) June 18, 2021
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.