Ice in Fuel System Caused 777 Crash

 - February 17, 2010, 8:23 AM

A fuel-flow restriction at the fuel/oil heat exchanger (FOHE) on the right engine and “most likely” on the left-hand FOHE resulted in the January 2008 crash of a 777
on approach to London Heathrow, according to the UK Department for Transport Aircraft Accidents Investigation Branch (AAIB) final report on the accident. Following a 10.5-hour flight from Beijing, the 777 (flying as British Airways Flight 38) lost power on its final approach to Heathrow, as both engines suffered an uncommanded “rollback” (or power reduction) at 720 feet and the airliner subsequently made a forced landing about 1,100 feet short of the runway and just inside the airport boundary. Ice in the fuel system had restricted fuel flow to the Rolls-Royce Trent 800 engines, according to investigators. All passengers survived. British safety officials issued recommendations for flight-data recorders to record engine fuel-metering information and for reviews of landing-gear failure requirements and Boeing 777 data buffering.