British Airways Boeing 747 Diverts To Chicago With ‘Electrical Burning Odour’

On Tuesday a British Airways Boeing 747 flying from London Heathrow to Los Angeles diverted to Chicago. Reports suggest that the aircraft had an electrical burning odour onboard.

British Airways, London to Los Angeles, BA283
A British Airways Boeing 747 flying from London to Los Angeles diverted to Chicago. Photo: Tom Boon – Simple Flying

British Airways operates several daily flights between Los Angeles and London. The route is popular with several major airlines operating on the route. On Tuesday, one of British Airways’ Boeing 747s way flying to Los Angeles from London. The aircraft diverted to Chicago after an electrical burning odour was observed on board according to the Aviation Herald. Thankfully, it seems as though all on board the aircraft are okay following the precautionary diversion.

What happened?

British Airways’ flight BA 283 is one of the carrier’s daily flights connecting London and Los Angeles. The flight is scheduled to depart from London Heathrow at 09:50, before touching down in Los Angeles at 13:05 later that same day.

On the 17th of September, the aircraft departed London Heathrow at around 10:06, marking a 16-minute delay according to The aircraft initially climbed to an altitude of 32,000 feet, flying towards the Atlantic across the island of Ireland. The transatlantic crossing was seemingly uneventful. However, the aircraft climbed to 38,000 feet in three steps.

Chicago diversion

Above the Canadian province of Ontario, the aircraft made a fairly sharp turn to the south. the aircraft made a beeline towards Chicago before commencing a descent after crossing the US Canadian border.

British Airways, London to Los Angeles, BA283
The aircraft proceeded as normal across the Atlantic, however, diverted towards Chicago above Canada. Photo:

The aircraft went on to land on Chicago O’Hare’s Runway 10L at 17:00UTC, around 65 minutes after the aircraft made a PAN PAN call. It is likely that the Boeing 747 opted to divert to Chicago, as the airport is well served by both British Airways, in addition to its oneworld partner, American Airlines.

A report from a passenger onboard the flight suggests that the aircraft was met by Chicago’s fire department upon landing. The passenger additionally confirmed the reason for the diversion was a burning electrical smell onboard the aircraft.

The aircraft involved in the incident is registered as G-CIVF. According to, the aircraft involved is 24.5 years old, having been delivered to the airline in March of 1995. The aircraft was ferried back to London empty yesterday and is scheduled to operate to Johannesburg, departing tonight.

Simple Flying contacted British Airways who confirmed the incident but declined to comment.

Were you onboard flight BA283 on Tuesday? We’d love to hear your experience! Let us know in the comments.