British Airways A380 Ingests Bird While Landing In Madrid

A British Airways A380 suffered a bird ingestion upon arrival at Madrid–Barajas Airport on November 28th. Flight BA462 from London Heathrow and Madrid was on final approach when a bird impacted the inboard left engine. The plane touched down safely and remains on the ground at Madrid Airport.

British Airways, Airbus A380, Future
The A380 ingested a bird into engine No.2 during landing. Photo: Tom Boon – Simple Flying

BA A380 bird ingestion during landing

British Airways Flight BA462 on November 28th was on final approach at Madrid–Barajas Airport when its inboard left engine (No. 2) ingested a bird. Fortunately for passengers and crew, the Airbus A380-800 was able to land safely on runway 32L at 18:49 CET.

British Airways A380 Ingests Bird While Landing In Madrid
Flight BA462 touched down in Madrid without further incident. Flight data:

The affected aircraft (registration: G-XLEF) is reportedly still on the ground at Madrid Airport at the time of publication. Return flight BA463, which was due to fly back to London Heathrow less than two hours later, was canceled. BA is set to fly in a replacement aircraft to operate the return flight the next day.

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Return flight rescheduled

Passengers waiting at Madrid Airport were informed that the return flight to London would be rescheduled for the next day. With G-XLEF still grounded, this flight is to be operated with a different aircraft. The new aircraft (registration: G-XLEG) is also an Airbus A380-800 and last flew from Frankfurt to London Heathrow today, arriving in London at 12:15 GMT.

British Airways A380 Ingests Bird While Landing In Madrid
A replacement aircraft (G-XLEG) will conduct the return flight. Photo: N509FZ via Wikimedia Commons

G-XLEG will first operate Flight BA462 from London to Madrid before conducting the return leg (BA463) from Madrid to London. The first leg will depart from London Heathrow at 15:15 GMT, arriving in Madrid at 18:35 CET. The return flight is set to depart Madrid at 20:00 CET, arriving in London Heathrow at 21:15 GMT.

BA’s A380 return

It has been around three weeks since British Airways returned its Airbus A380s to action. Presently, the jumbo A380 has been deployed on short-haul European routes (Frankfurt and Madrid) for crew familiarization purposes. This is set to last one month to prepare the crew for international operations.

The airline plans to put four of its 12 Airbus A380s back into service in December. As for its other eight A380s, British Airways still intends to keep them in the fleet. As Simple Flying reported in August, BA extended its maintenance contract for all 12 A380s for at least five years from August 2022.

British Airways, Airbus A380, Doha
British Airways is set to bring back four of its 12 Airbus A380s into service. Photo: Getty Images

G-XLEF suffered an incident back in 2016 en route from Johannesburg O. R. Tambo International Airport to London Heathrow. On March 13, 2016, a water leak on the upper deck soaked passengers sitting in the lower deck and caused damage to their belongings. On that occasion, the aircraft was able to land safely without further incident.

Were you onboard flight BA462 from London to Madrid on November 28th? Have you ever been on a flight that suffered a bird ingestion? Feel free to share your stories in the comments.