Last updated: 01:27 PM ET, Tue October 18 2016

Passengers Told Not to Rock Plane After Landing Gear Malfunctions

Impacting Travel | Donald Wood | October 18, 2016

Passengers Told Not to Rock Plane After Landing Gear Malfunctions

Photo: A British Airways plane landing on a runway. (Courtesy of British Airways)

An investigation into an emergency landing by a British Airways flight in January revealed this week that the pilot of the plane asked frightened passengers not to “rock the plane” due to the possibility that it could tip over.

According to The Telegraph, British Airways Flight BA 295 had taken off from Heathrow Airport en route to Chicago’s O'Hare International Airport when the captain reported a problem with the plane’s landing gear and called for an emergency landing back at Heathrow.

The British Airways Boeing 747 managed to make a safe landing in London on just three of its five wheels, but the aircraft traveled the entire length of the runway due to a lack of breaking power. Before the 293 passengers onboard were led off the plane, the pilot told everyone to exit slowly in order to avoid tipping the aircraft over due to the landing gear malfunction.

The runway at Heathrow was closed for an hour as the plane was secured and then towed away.

“This was the aircraft’s first flight after maintenance, during which the Landing Gear Control Module (LGCM) was replaced,” according to the Air Accidents Investigation Branch’s official report on the incident. “After retracting the landing gear following take-off from Heathrow, the crew were unable to move the landing gear lever from the ‘UP’ to the ‘OFF’ position, as it had become jammed in the ‘UP’ detent. The crew elected to return to Heathrow and the landing gear was lowered using the alternate extension system. The aircraft landed safely, with only the nose and body landing gear deployed.”

“The aircraft landed safely with its nose and body landing gear functioning correctly,” British Airways said in a statement. “Our highly trained pilots practice a range of landings during their regular training. We have introduced additional engineering procedure checks and training to ensure this issue does not happen again.”

In addition to British Airways being proud of its pilots, the passengers and the families of those on Flight BA 295 were also very appreciative.

“Kisses and hugs to the British Airways pilot who just landed the plane my husband was on when the landing gear failed,” Muriel Gray said in January. “Husband says BA pilot typically understated despite telling passengers how close a call that just was.”

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