A British Airways Boeing 787 today ended up in a sticky situation after it came to rest in the mud. The aircraft was being pushed back in Edmonton, Canada, ahead of a flight back to London Heathrow when the incident occurred.
In mid-April, we saw that a British Airways Airbus A380 crushed a taxiway in Chateauroux as it entered long term storage. A misunderstanding experienced by a marshaller caused this incident. However, it seems as though bad luck has struck again as another British Airways aircraft today suffered a taxiway mishap.
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Today’s incident involved a three-year-old Boeing 787-9, registered as G-ZBKP. The British Airways Boeing 787 departed London for Edmonton on the 2nd of June. British Airways has been using this particular Boeing 787-9 regularly for freight flights. The airline has also converted two Boeing 777 aircraft specifically to carry freight.
— Airline Kitty (@airline_kitty) June 4, 2020
After around 24 hours in the Canadian city, it was time to return to London Heathrow. The aircraft was located on a cargo apron towards the southeast of the airport, according to data from FlightRadar24.com. At around 01:00 local time in Canada (07:00 UTC) the aircraft’s pushback began. The incident was shared by @airline_kitty on Twitter.
However, the process was brought to a halt after just a couple of minutes. It seems that, in the darkness, the push operators misjudged the space available to push the aircraft back. As a result, the right main landing gear ended up stuck in the soft ground over the edge.
It was not possible to rescue the aircraft during the night, as photos of the incident show the plane still stuck during daylight hours. For reference, sunrise in Edmonton is currently at around 05:10. At the time of writing, the aircraft had been in Edmonton for 33 hours.
The aircraft was operating a cargo rotation when the incident occurred, given its parking location. It’s unclear how much cargo, if any, was onboard the aircraft at the time. It looks as though the gear has sunk reasonably deeply into the mud just off of the taxiway. Hopefully, the ground crew in Edmonton will be able to free the aircraft so that it can complete the journey back to Heathrow.
Simple Flying has contacted British Airways and Edmonton Airport for comment regarding the incident.
A British Airways spokesperson told Simple Flying,
“We’re working closely with the airport ground team to get this cargo flight on its way as quickly as possible.”
Meanwhile, a spokesperson for Edmonton Airport commented:
“The aircraft was delayed due to a technical issue, but is expected to depart later today.”
What do you make of the unfortunate pushback error? Let us know your thoughts in the comments!